History Round-Up: 6 books that make history visual

Here are 6 recommended non-fiction books that help young readers to visualise history topics.

1. Egypt Magnified

David Long & Harry Bloom

Available here

A treasure trove of information about Ancient Egypt presented in a seek-and-find format, with a magnifying glass included (because “every Egyptologist needs a magnifying glass”).

This fun and interactive book includes 16 scenes depicting daily life for the Ancient Egyptians, each with hundreds of miniature cartoon-style figures going about their daily activities. Readers familiar with the Where’s Wally? books will dive right in without hesitation as they search for different characters, animals, symbols and objects that all build up to create a detailed picture of different aspects of the Ancient Egyptian civilisation.

Each page also contains chunks of text with explanations or facts to add context alongside each scene. Complete with an additional information section at the end including timelines and a hieroglyphics key, this is an appealing and engaging book set to entertain and inform young readers exploring the Egyptians topic.

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Publication date: October 2018

Also features on: Ancient Egyptians Booklist

You can order Egypt Magnified online or from your local bookshop or library.

2. Greek Gods & Heroes

Sylvie Baussier & Almasty

Available here

A compendium of 40 different male and female figures from Greek Mythology including Odysseus, Athena, Pandora, Achilles and Zeus. Each character is given a double-page spread and introduced through bite-size chunks of text, bright graphics and with facts and figures presented in an infographic style.

Greek mythology is not short on gory details but this book simplifies the myths for children without skipping the important details of the story, as well as providing details about each character’s genealogy, relationships and associated symbols.

This is a great alternative to some of the more text-heavy mythology books and one that is likely to hold a high appeal to readers in Upper KS2

Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions

Publication date: August 2018

Also features on: Ancient Greece Booklist

You can order Greek Gods & Heroes online or from your local bookshop or library.

3. Timelines of Everything


Available here

An impressive non-fiction volume offering a visual representation of world history told through 130 timelines. This is a heavy hardback compendium that is perfect for dipping into and returning to time and time again.

From prehistory and ancient civilisations to medieval realms and world wars, this book includes double-page overviews of major historical periods from around the world, each presented as a highly visual chronology.

As well as historical periods, there are also thematic timelines on topics such as music, feminism, fashion and crime detection, with each timeline presented in a unique and creative way linking to its topic. Filled with both well-known facts and surprising trivia, this is a wonderful book to help readers young and old gain a wider overview of history, to make links between different parts of history and to visualise events in their wider historical context.

Publisher: DK Children

Publication date: October 2018

You can order Timelines of Everything online or from your local bookshop or library.

4. So You Think You’ve Got it Bad? A Kid's Life in Ancient Greece

Chae Strathie & Marisa Morea

Available here

Published in collaboration with The British Museum, this children's information book offers a humorous and informative introduction to daily life in Ancient Greece.

Through words and pictures, the book compares modern day life to different aspects of daily life for the Ancient Greeks, including clothing, education, jobs, pets, food and pastimes, viewing each topic through the eyes of a child.

This is the kind of non-fiction book that takes every opportunity to make the information visual, presenting facts through speech bubbles, diagrams and bright cartoon-style illustrations as well as accessible chunks of text.

An enjoyable information text that would appeal to children in KS2, this is the kind of book that helps young readers to move beyond hard facts and begin to reflect on what life might have felt like for those living in ancient times.

Also in the series: So You Think You’ve Got it Bad? A Kid's Life in Ancient Egypt

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Publication date: January 2019

Also features on: Ancient Greece Booklist

You can order So You Think You’ve Got it Bad? A Kid's Life in Ancient Greece online or from your local bookshop or library.

5. The Story of People

Catherine Barr, Steve Williams & Amy Husband

Available here

Part of the award-nominated ‘The Story of…’ series, The Story of People offers a chronological overview of humanity from early history to the present day.

This illustrated non-fiction text provides a delightfully visual overview of world history for young readers, highlighting some of the key times of change as well as a number of common challenges and achievements shared by different civilisations across history.

Each double-page spread picks out a key stage of human history and uses words and pictures to emphasise the similarities and differences (there are more similarities evident than we might first realise!) between the humans inhabiting each different time and place. With appealing and detailed illustrations that are both informative and entertaining, this is a key book for primary school children to learn about humanity in its wider historical context.

Also in the series: The Story of Life, The Story of Space

Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Publication date: March 2019

You can order The Story of People online or from your local bookshop or library.

6. The Legend of Tutankhamun

Sally Jane Morgan & James Weston Lewis

Available here

Telling a story that continues to fascinate young and old readers alike, this powerfully visual book tells the story of the boy Pharaoh, Tutankhamun.

The book explores the story and legacy of Tutankhamun as well as Howard Carter's ground-breaking discovery of the tomb and the treasures within. The pages are mostly set in eye-catching yellows and blues, evoking the dry heat of the desert set against the powerful Nile.

There is a high image-to text ratio, which works with the vivid design style of the spreads to give the book a powerful visual edge and helps to break down the topic into manageable bites of information for younger readers.

We recommend this for KS2 classes covering the Ancient Egyptians topic.

Publisher: Wren & Rook

Publication date: September 2018

Also features on: Ancient Egyptians Booklist

You can order The Legend of Tutankhamun online or from your local bookshop or library.


Looking for more history topic books? Try browsing our history booklists.

Thank you to the publishers for kindly sending me copies of these books.


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