The Secrets of Stonehenge

The Secrets of Stonehenge by Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom

secretsofstonehengeIn this non-fiction picture book, Manning and Granstrom take a close look at Stonehenge.  This is an informational picture book for slightly older children, or for preschoolers and up with a strong interest and longer attention span.

Manning and Granstrom begin their book in Stone Age Britain 10,000 years ago, and continue through the Neolithic age with first farmers 6,000 years ago, the idea of gods and goddesses 5,000 years ago, to the beginning of Stonehenge 5,000 years ago.  Construction progressed in stages – with the digging of a ditch, bank construction and digging of Aubrey holes (that likely held wooden posts) 5,000 years ago.  The 80 bluestones came from the Welsh mountains on boats and rafts 4,500 years ago.  And, the giant saren stones were moved from Marlborough Downs after that (still 4,500 years ago), carved into shape, raised into pits, and capped with lintel stones.

The authors discuss the technology of the times, and how the people might have moved, carved, and raised the stones – and that it might have taken most of the people in the South of England.  The authors also explore what the stones might have been for – and what sort of ceremonies might have taken place there.  They discuss the importance of the solstices – midsummer sunrise and midwinter sunset.

Pages also discuss nearby Durrington Walls that might have been a gathering and feasting place associated with Stonehenge.  The authors talk about the ancient peoples, how archeologists find clues in graves and near important gathering places, and important discoveries like the Amesbury Archer and the Stonehenge Archer.

There is a glossary of terms at the end of the book, as well as a short, illustrated timeline on the inside covers.

This is an excellent book for introducing readers to the mysteries of Stonehenge.

To learn more about the authors, visit


Gravity by Jason Chin

gravity book“Gravity makes things fall to Earth.  Without gravity, everything would float away.”

Chin’s non-fiction picture book explains gravity in a way that everyone, even the youngest listeners, can understand.  The simple text is accompanied by colorful, engaging illustrations.

The illustrations follow a young boy playing with space toys on a beach, then follow the toys into space demonstrating what would happen if gravity didn’t exist.  The toys fall to Earth later in the book, surprising three other children who are selling lemonade.  The boy on the beach is then surprised by lemons and a pitcher of lemonade.  The mini story and illustrations will keep readers smiling and interested as they learn about gravity.

Chin follows the story with two illustrated pages that give a more in-depth explanation of gravity.  Topics covered include:  defining gravity as an invisible force, mass and gravity, distance and gravity, measuring gravity, and orbiting around the Sun.

This great book teaches about gravity in a fun, easy-to-understand manner.  Chin also has written Redwoods, Coral Reefs, and Island.