Wallbook Weekly

Connecting the dots of the past

May 05, 2014

English-Christopher-Lloyd-T

CURIOSITY is our most precious natural instinct. It is how we learn all the most important life skills from talking to tickling from cradle to grave.

But today knowledge is usually chopped up into separate subjects – into a timetable, a syllabus or curriculum – usually by adults who are addicted to measuring and recording a student’s progress through constant tests and examinations.

All too often, the unforeseen consequences of this modern industrialization of education is to kill off natural curiosity. How can children possibly follow their interests when they are constantly being told what it is they need know? Much better is to challenge them to find out for themselves and become an expert wherever their curiosity leads them… then they can become what nature truly intended – their own self-learning system!

That’s why I wanted to find a way of presenting a big picture to people – young and old alike – so their minds can roam freely and stand back in awe at the most extraordinary story of all – far more incredible than any fantasy or fiction – the story of the Universe and our home, the planet Earth, over 13.7 billion years!

Imagine a book that will be your guide – in pictures and words – where you don’t have to start at the beginning and read to the end following the arbitrary path of an unknown author! No, you can start in the middle or wherever your interests lie and read left, right, up or down – without ever getting lost because of the timeline beneath! This is more what nature intended, because you may go wherever your curiosity leads!

And how about unfolding the book? No need to stuff it on a shelf like other books because you can hang it on a wall or spread it out on a table or a floor so several people can explore it and learn together, spotting things as they go, commenting, discussing, talking, debating…

For me the joy of telling big stories is like the Wallbook itself, it has no beginning and no end. It is just a constant fascination with connecting together the dots of the past, giving them meaning and making them memorable through visualization, context, cause and effect.

If just a little piece of the thrill I get in compiling these puzzles of time into a coherent narrative on a timeline rubs off onto you – be you a parent, a teacher, a child, or – perhaps best of all – just a curious individual – then I will be truly delighted. Do let me know – I would love to hear from you!

9780993019982.PT02

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Will Bethune says

3 years ago

I just finished reading “The Story of the World in 100 Species” and found it completely wonderful. Although I’m almost 67 years old and received a normal American education, most of the book was news to me! Although I suppose the book was written for a younger audience, the level of technical knowledge was perfect for me, as I believe it would be for most non-scientists.

Very well done! Thank you for writing such a fine book. After reading the one from the library, I bought one for my own bookshelf and will continually use it as reference material as I try to outwit my very knowledgeable wife.

    Chris says

    3 years ago

    Dear Mr Bethune

    I just wanted to write a note of thank to you for your lovely posting on our website and for your comments about my book on The Story of the World in 100 Species. It is such a thrill to hear from readers who have been inspired, like I am, by the extraordinary stories of living things around us – it’s humbling, I find, to admire their impact and refreshing to think we humans are really only a small part of what is such an extraordinary story.

    With very best wishes

    -christopher


Recent Posts

Fun Stuff & Offers, News & Events

Brodie’s dynamite Dino cards wins our £100 prize!

Wow! Have you seen this amazing hand-drawn set of Nature Top Trump cards from Brodie in Lincolnshire? A huge dinosaur fan and a talented artist Brodie’s set of cards impressed the whole team here at WoE?

Fun Stuff & Offers, News & Events

5000 FREE wallbooks… What on Earth? is going on?

From today until the general election (June 8th) we are giving away 5,000 FREE British history timeline books to the nation, so everyone has the opportunity to find out for themselves what it really means to be British!

News & Events, Reviews

An AMAZING talk, according to Gabe….

Last month we went to a presentation one evening at the kids’ school called “A History of the World in 20 Objects”. The presentation was given by author Christopher Lloyd, who wrote the book “What on Earth Happened”, and it was nothing short of amazing. The kids loved it, Matt and I loved it, and it’s actually resulted in multiple family discussions on historical events that have been both fun and interesting.

Chronicles

King Harold falls at Hastings as Normans invade England

THEY SAY that a month is a long time in politics. It’s even longer if you are an eleventh-century English king. On 25 September, the English king Harold Godwinson celebrated a magnificent victory at Stamford Bridge, in Yorkshire, after defeating an army of Norwegian invaders. But less than three weeks later he lay dead on a battlefield near Hastings, on the south coast, after his army was annihilated by French forces led by William, Duke of Normandy.

Videos

British History Story #3 – The Roman Invasion

World history is peppered with stories of walls: Hadrian’s Wall, The Great Wall of China, The Berlin Wall. None of them were particularly successful at keeping people out – or keeping people in depending on your perspective! So what is this fascination with walls all about? Christopher Lloyd explores…..

News & Events

The bigger the story the better!

Most people, especially when they write non-fiction books – are specialists of some kind. Our modern culture is obsessed with people being experts, doctors and professors – so much so that to succeed in getting a good job (or being taken seriously as a non-fiction author) you must be an expert. “What’s your special topic?” asks John Humphries, host of the famous BBC Series Mastermind. Maybe it’s a species, an event in history, a famous person, an invention, a movement or a historic place.

Reviews

Brick Castle reviews Wallbook of British History

I love looking at new books with my children, and sometimes a different sort of book comes along that really makes us pay attention. The What On Earth? Wallbook Of British History is definitely very different – and very impressive.From outside the hardback cover the Wallbook Timeline Of British History looks like a regular large format book, but open it out and inside is a pocket magnifier, a 2 metre long pullout wallbook, and an 18 page copy of The Chronicle – a brilliant mock up of an imaginary newspaper.

News & Events

Sunday Times British History Poster

Christopher Lloyd and Andy Forshaw have teamed up with the Sunday Times to produce a unique What on Earth? British History poster. It will be distributed free with the newspaper throughout the UK on Sunday April 10th. The poster features 20 of the top moments in our island’s history from the formation of Giant’s Causeway 60 million years ago to the present day. The back page depicts a list of all the Kings & Queens from 1066 to 2016 with key achievements from each reign.

News & Events, Videos

Listening to the Sounds of Science!

The Sounds of Science is a three-way collaboration between solo percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, composer Jill Jarman and Wallbook author Christopher Lloyd. The project aims to demonstrate how a narrative timeline can be conveyed effectively through a soundscape. Click here to see a video excerpt of the world premier in Edinburgh

News & Events

A Bayeux Tapestry for the 21st Century

With over 1,000 captions and illustrations, readers are taken on a visually exhilarating journey through the ages: from the dinosaurs, the Battle of Hastings, Henry VIII’s Reformation, Oliver Cromwell’s Civil War, George Stephenson’s Rocket to the invention of the internet by Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s…and beyond!

Reviews

Famous Author Christopher Lloyd Visits Truro Prep

Children’s author and historian Christopher Lloyd visited Truro Prep School on Wednesday 20 January to run an interactive workshop on Shakespeare. Mr Lloyd first taught Years Two, Three and Four in the Pre-Prep Hall followed by a second presentation to Years Five and Six later in the day.

Book Club

Winners of the ‘It’s extinct!’ November Book Club Competition Announced

We were inundated with some fantastic and scary pictures following November's Book Club competition in which we asked members to draw an extinct animal. We had great fun judging them all but there could only be three winners - congratulations to Nathan, Sebastian and Xander who have each won a personalised T-Rex-shirt.

Fun Stuff & Offers, News & Events

Well done Sidney- our April winner of £100!

We loved receiving work from our upcoming Activity Book and have decided to continue with our monthly competition to win £100! April’s winner was Sidney from Grantham, Lincs who produced an amazing set of Shakespeare Top Trump cards.