Byline: Joseph Szadkowski, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Three little words did you know strung together with a question mark at the end can pique the interest of nearly any inquisitive person. A book seemingly built on this sentence, the World Almanac for Kids, is backed by a company known for its fact compilations since 1868 and offers a companion Web site filled with a concise stream of knowledge for the entire family.
The World Almanac for Kids Online
Site address: www.worldalmanacforkids.com
Creator: World Almanac Books, based in New York City, is a division of World Almanac Education Group, an operating unit of WRC Media Inc.
Creator quotable: "In today's world of Internet-savvy kids, with so much information available on the Web, we created the World Almanac for Kids Web site to offer an organized, information-packed and easily accessible resource for kids on the Web. It is great for homework as well as for fun," says publisher Ken Park.
Word from the Webwise: Acting as a leaner sibling to information-heavy sites such as Fact Monster (www.factmonster.com), the World Almanac for Kids does not overwhelm students but simply satisfies those in need of a few cool facts.
A colorful opening page beckons visitors with linked images such as President Abraham Lincoln, a rhinoceros, St. Basil's Cathedral, Earth and a light bulb, all of which lead to specific pages. Three areas, "Explore," "Fun and Games" and "Insider Info," also found on the opening screen, will take one on a less directed journey through 15,000 years of history.
Going the "Explore" route, I found the primary components of the site tidily organized in the sections "Animals," "Environment," "Historical Birthdays," "Inventions," "Nations," "Population," "Presidents of the United States, "Religion," "Space," "Sports," "States" and "U.S. History Timeline."
Each section simply displays a couple of pages of details, statistics or lists, with information ranging from the fact that Major League Baseball player Don Baylor was hit by pitches 267 times in his career to tidbits on German scientist Wilhelm Roentgen, who invented the X-ray in 1895.
A wonderful addition to the right side of every screen, "Did You Know?" guarantees visitors a bit of brain food through a little fodder about everything.