If Our World Were 100 Days
32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
If the last 10 000 years of human development were condensed into 100 days, it is hard to realise that it would be only 54 days ago that the first formal writing system was created and only six hours ago that the first text message was sent!
Time, particularly history, is one of the hardest concepts for little people to grasp because their lack of maturity keeps them in the here and now, and thus the concept of 10 000 years is impossible to understand. But in this new book that uses the format of condensing things in 100 elements such as animal species or groups of people, the numbers, proportions and statistics become more manageable.
Like its predecessors, it uses double-page spreads, clever illustrations and graphic design elements to chart the timeline of significant developments in humankind such as population growth, the evolution of the wheel, even the creation of cures for a headache. It includes a timeline that summarises the major events and discoveries included as well as inviting the reader to contemplate whether the progress has been entirely beneficial and where the world might be in 100 days from now, offering scope for the science fiction fans to let their imaginations loose. Older readers might like to investigate the Doomsday Clock, its meaning and implications.
As well as offering students the opportunity to explore and explain the development of something that they, themselves, are interested in and presenting their findings in a similar format, it is also an excellent way to talk about data collection, interpretation and presentation, and the use of visuals to convey complex ideas, all important aspects of being information literate, while, at the same time, helping them understand that elusive concept of time.