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Childrens Encyclopedia

Large encyclopedia.

A children's encyclopedia is a fantastic reference tool for kids of all ages. Whether you're looking for general information or searching for facts about a specific topic, an encyclopedia provides reliable, detailed articles and is a handy resource to have nearby.

Types of Encyclopedias

Publishing companies print a wide variety of children's encyclopedias, and some may be better suited for your child than others.

  • If you have very young children or kids who don't enjoy reading, you might want to choose a pictorial encyclopedia. This type of book conveys short, basic facts about a topic and focuses on presenting high-quality photographs.
  • An encyclopedia series is a good choice for voracious readers or kids who do school reports for which they aren't allowed to use research from the Internet. A big series of books can take up a lot of space and become expensive, though, so make sure your kids will utilize these volumes before you purchase them.
  • When your kid takes on a special interest in a particular topic, you might check to see whether a corresponding encyclopedia is available. For example, some publishers release encyclopedias that cover just animal information or just information about world history.
  • If you think an encyclopedia would be helpful for your child, involve him or her in the decision. You can take a trip to the library and check out the encyclopedias they have there, explain what you know is available, and come to a choice together about what book might be best to get.

What's Available

If you can't find these books in a local bookstore or your library, you can order them online or check out alternate options.

  • The Young Children's Encyclopedia is a 16-volume set that was released in 1985 from Encyclopedia Britannica. Some information may be out of date, but this series is one of the most complete available.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica Kids also offers an online encyclopedia and homework-help tool that gives kids information on many different topics. A free trial is available, but you must pay to get a full, extended version of the tool.
  • The Scholastic Children's Encyclopedia is a single thorough volume with more than 700 pages and 600+ subject entries.
  • Kids Konnect is a type of online encyclopedia anthology, with links to numerous other reference materials and information sources for kids.
  • The New Children's Encyclopedia is only 300 pages, but it includes more than 2,000 photographs and illustrations, and it's a fantastic resource for elementary-school children.
  • Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is a 300-page tome for younger readers that offers detailed information and photographs for dozens of animals.
  • The Children's Encyclopedia of American History is more livelier than a textbook but will offer similar valuable information about the past of the United States.
  • The Kingfisher Children's Encyclopedia is almost 500 pages and contains a multitude of colorful illustrations and photographs that cover nearly 200 topics. Kingfisher also offers separate history and science encyclopedias for young readers.

Where to Get a Children's Encyclopedia

If your child mostly uses the Internet and online resources for schoolwork and research, an encyclopedia may not be necessary to have. But if he or she enjoys reading and delving into different topics, it's a worthwhile tool.

Check your local library to see what encyclopedias they have and what your child thinks of the layouts and content. If you make frequent trips to the library, you may be able to use the encyclopedias there and save the money you would spend on buying your own.

You might also find encyclopedias at your local bookstore or a used bookstore. If you're looking for something specific, a book that's out of print, or a full set of volumes, you may want to put in a book order online. To avoid the cost of shipping, you could also think about ordering an encyclopedia through a local or independent bookstore, where you could pick up and pay for the book when it arrives.

Childrens Encyclopedia