The Story of Things


The Story of Things is essentially the story of humanity.  Beginning with early humans who had no things, we track the development of inventions, ideas and discoveries.  Ranging through farming, civilisations, inventions, steam, electricity, computers, and the world we live in now.  Neal Layton explores these stages through his usual quirky style and energetic illustrations.  He tells this story in an accessible way for the very young. Just like the history he is telling, this is a most original, inventive and very funny book.

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The Story of Things

Neal Layton

(Wren & Rook)

In The Story of Things, we begin with a little boy at home.  He has lots of things – books, TV, electronic devices, clocks, socks etc etc.  Moving back three millions years, we meet the earliest human ancestors.  They have nothing, although they have to eat, sleep, keep warm and stay alive.  Then, someone fashions a sharp blade out of a stone and everyone goes stone crazy!  Suddenly, they have things to kill and cut their food and implements to make fire.
Neal Layton then takes us on a rapid and very funny journey through the next 3 million years, showing how things were invented and why.  This takes in the Sumerians (the beginnings of writing), Egyptians (stone buildings, hieroglyphics) and the Romans (plumbing, roads, books with pages).  He describes how people learned through trading and sharing cultures and knowledge and how humans harnessed natural resources to power the agricultural and industrial revolutions.
Throughout, Layton’s illustrations and text are full of laughs and entertainment.  They are the perfect companions to this irreverent and fascinating history.
Bookwagon has a number of books written, and featuring illustrations by, Neal Layton, such as A Planet Full of Plastic.


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