50 Burning Questions: A Sizzling History of Fire

ImageLloyd Kyi, Tanya.
Annick Press 2010
100 pgs, $12.95
ISBN 13: 978-1-55451-220-1
Age 8-12
Reviewed by Sarah Gibbs

While it examines a rather unconventional topic, Tanya Lloyd Kyi’s 50 Burning Questions: A Sizzling History of Fire is an enjoyable and accessible reference book for children aged eight to twelve. The work’s seven chapters track the elements from prehistory to present-day studies of volcanoes and fiery suns. However, Kyi does not attempt to provide a comprehensive discussion. Rather, she uses the question and answer format to furnish brief descriptions of fire-related phenomena, as well as historical anecdotes and “Flash Facts.” The arrangement of text, illustrations and supplementary information is visually dynamic and artist Ross Kinnaird’s cartoons are a treat. The multiple elements on each page make the textual portions less intimidating and the book is ideal for reluctant readers, who are also likely to enjoy the activities which Kyi intersperses with other material. In addition to an index and bibliography, Kyi provides a list of further readings.