You’ve probably read the books, or read them to your children, and you may well have seen the excellent show on CBBC. Well, now Horrible Histories has made the leap to the magazine format, meaning that you can get a monthly dose of the gruesome bits of history.
Rather than simply being an accompaniment to the show, this is a largely standalone kids magazine featuring all the rotten (and all the good!) bits of history – executions, gladiator battles, Vikings and the like. Whilst it does reference the TV series, it is also packed with humour, fascinating facts, activities such as colouring in and more, and is illustrated throughout by the wonderful and colourful art associated with Horrible Histories. Educating, entertaining and a little bit gruesome – in other words, perfect for kids.
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It would perhaps give away my age a little if I was to confess that Horrible Histories were some of my favourite reads as a child, but it would also be true. History can be more than a little boring – studying this at university gave me ample opportunity to examine this first hand. However, this need not be – of course, some of the more tedious parts of history do need to be studied, and there are plenty of academics who are fascinated by dry politics, but there are also parts of history that can be downright fascinating.
The Horrible History books were really rather good – they combined surprisingly good academic knowledge of the period with the clever insight that there are some bits that the kids really want to read.
When you get down to it, history is nothing more than the endlessly interesting details of how people lived in the past, and what they got up to. Whatever the century, humans are a wonderful combination of gross, gruesome, amazing and mysterious, and it is these parts of history that are explored in this magazine. Prepare for a volley of puns, excellent illustrations and disgusting facts that should keep any kid reading this magazine interested, and you never know, they might just learn a little something along the way – I know I did when reading the books. NB