Front covers of three books in the Magnificent Books non-fiction series for review; dinosaurs, Viking treasures, and monkeys.
Book Reviews

Non-Fiction November | The Magnificent Books Review

We cover a lot of fiction books here at Libraries 4 Schools, so we wanted to take this month to shine a light on a couple of the great non-fiction books out there for children right now!

The Magnificent Book series published by Weldon Owen Children’s Books is sure to entertain any children who enjoy non-fiction, with its wide variety of subjects from dinosaurs and sea creatures to historic treasures and fantasy beings.

We were fortunate to receive copies of Monkeys and Apes, Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures, and Treasures: Vikings, each one fascinating and informative for children as well as adults. Thank you to Claire Morrison Marketing for sending us these!

The books are in a larger format with large, colourful, detailed illustrations of the animals or items (many unknown to us!), each over a double page spread. At the back, there are maps showing you the locations relevant to the topic, such as where the animals live, or where the fossils or artifacts were found.

Image shows a Dreadnoughtus dinosaur from Magnificent Books non-fiction series for review.

Each entry has bullet points that highlight some salient facts, such as their history, geography, or biology – for example, did you know that as the dinosaur Stygimoloch got older, its skull became rounder and grew more spikes? Or that the emperor tamarin monkey is named ’emperor’ after the German ruler Wilhelm II, all because he had a large moustache?

These fascinating facts make learning about each item or animal fun, and work well with the ‘fact file box’ for each entry, which gives basic information and a scale interpretation of the subject – sometimes comparing it to a human figure, sometimes a hand or even a finger depending on the size.

Image shows a golden snub-nosed monkey from Magnificent Books non-fiction series for review.

The three books we received were impressive and engaging, and the fact that they are large allows you to see intricate details in the pictures. This is especially useful for the treasures that would normally be on display behind glass, and even more so for those too small to see the details of clearly in person.

Image shows a necklace of fish tails Viking treasure from Magnificent Books non-fiction series for review.

In fact, we were so impressed with the series that we immediately went out and bought Creatures of the Abyss, which we’d recommend to schools studying oceans and the seldom-seen animals that live in the dark depths of the sea. We’re eyeing up a couple more too!

With their simple layouts, colourful pictures, and easy-reading style, these books are great for all ages but especially primary and KS2. The full series covers various animals (both alive and dead!) and historical treasures from various cultures, as well as a couple of more fantastical subjects such as dragons, making The Magnificent Books a great choice for class topics as well as reading for pleasure.

If you want to indulge your curious side, you can grab a copy of The Magnificent Books we’ve reviewed at the links below.
(Disclosure: If you buy books linked to our site, we may earn a commission from, whose fees support independent bookshops.)

Monkeys and Apes was written by Barbara Taylor and illustrated by Simon Treadwell

Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Creatures was written by Tom Jackson and illustrated by Rudolf Farkas

Treasures: Vikings was written by Stella Caldwell and illustrated by Eugenia Nobati

Looking for more non-fiction books? If so, you can see our previous reviews here.