Eyewitness books were a leap in design for children’s nonfiction books. They still stand out, even though their clean image-on-white style is often imitated. They were first published in England by Dorling Kindersley in 1988. When they started publishing in the U.S. in 1991 I remember thinking they were a wonderful surprise.
By now there are well over 100 Eyewitness titles in 36 languages, and DK has a huge list of early readers and board books, all with that very clear style. Check out their website. The interesting thing about Eyewitness books is that they take into account that children learn in all sorts of ways, and that information need not be dumbed down as much as we think. Kids will pour over a picture and get so much more out of it than I, who look at the caption before the picture. But the images, always photographic, never silly cartoon art, respect my need for information. For print addicts, there is intelligent text, in varying sizes, with information about the picture. Just enough so that you can actually understand something important.
Title search DK Eyewitness gets you 145 titles in our online catalog. There are also Eyewitness DVDs, which are also beautiful, but you really can’t pore over a DVD. Some of the books now feature the great images on a Clip-Art CD, which we have fixed to the back inside cover for you to use.
Personally, I really think Eyewitness books shouldn’t be considered only children’s books. I am looking at Eyewitness Train. By the way what is a flange? Something to do with the plateway of a railroad track… Maybe I should read the larger print. I guess I thought I was too cool for that.