Best Kids Encyclopedia Review – Children’s Encyclopedias for Learning about the World, Science, Animals and More!

Are you sick of your kids asking you the 5 W’s ‘n’ 1 H? “Dad, Mom, Who? What? Where? Why? When? How?” Or you just love to see your kids spew out facts like walking libraries? Then it’s time you got them their own encyclopedia. The best kids’ encyclopedias might be like the elusive unicorn your kids swear exist, But we have beaten the odds and brought together, in one place, some of the best kids’ encyclopedia brands out there!

Encyclopedias for kids are full of pictures, fun facts, and interesting stories. They come in many different topics — kids science encyclopedias, kids space encyclopedias, kids animal encyclopedias — the list goes on. So, whatever your child fancies, even if it’s tiny bugs or giant dinosaurs, there’s a children’s encyclopedia out there for it. Unfortunately, we could only choose 5 to review, but we’ve included some bonus picks along the way. Think of them like the Easter Eggs in your kids (or your own) favorite video games!

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Our Top Choice
Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book Encyclopedia
Lonely Planet is a leading expert in all things travel. Providing quality content for both print and digital media, it keeps its customers at the heart of everything it does.
Covers 200 different countries. One page dedicated to each country. Amazing facts on wildlife, culture, sports, foods, and festivals. Quirky insights on every page. For 8 years and up.
Isolated complaint about book’s binding.
Travel guide
Hardcover or kindle
8 – 12
Best Value
National Geographic Big Book of Dinosaurs
The National Geographic Society uses profits from sales of its quality products to fund several critical projects which help to conserve wildlife and preserve their habitats.
Many facts. Illustrated, age-appropriate information about dinosaurs. Simple text in big type. Interactive chapters help kids carry experience beyond the book.
Few complaints about weak binding.
Hardcover or paperback
4 – 8
DK The New Children’s Encyclopedia
With a specialty in superior visual and photographic non-fiction literature suited for kids and adults alike, DK has, since 1974, produced world-class content in more than 60 languages.
Covers key curriculum topics in geography, history, science and technology and more. Beautiful photography and illustrations. Flashcard-style fun facts for faster assimilation.
A bit too flimsy for a child’s book
Hardcover or paperback
6 – 9
Disney Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Leveraging on its portfolio of brands, Disney seeks to provide customers with the most outstanding and innovative entertainment experiences and related products in the world.
Explores over 200 characters from the complete Star Wars saga. Profiles on heroes, villains, aliens, and droids. Stunning picture quality. Easy-to-understand language for kids.
Details on characters are not in-depth.
Star Wars characters
7 years +
Time for Kids Big Book of Why Encyclopedia
Time for Kids, a subsidiary of the trusted name in the world of news, Time, employs journalism as a tool to include students in the national discourse on trending topics.
Answers over 250 questions about animals, space, sports, history, science and tech. Over 1001 amazing fun facts. With lots of pictures. Concise enough for kids’ attention spans.
Pages appear too flimsy for a child’s book.
Hardcover or kindle
8 – 12

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What is the Best Encyclopedia for Kids?

If you read our buying guide below, you are now an encyclopedia of information on kids’ encyclopedias yourself. So, believe us when we say that you’re ready to pick the best kids’ encyclopedia for your munchkins. Let’s meet the top five. Trust us on this one; even if your baby doesn’t give a hoot about reading, one of these encyclopedias would blow his mind. PS: You’ve also found a “someone else” to take up the dirty job of breaking the news that unicorns don’t exist to your baby girl. Or do they

Before we get to exploring our reviews, you may have noticed that there are two well-known encyclopedia brands missing. This was not an oversight at all. It’s just that Britannica Kids Encyclopedias and World Book Encyclopedias pretty much need no introduction, they are that good. Not to mention that they have sooooo many options. We will show you some of our favorites though.

Our Top Choice
With the Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book, you’ll always have the “Mom, listen to this” moment, as this travel book feeds their inquisitive appetites with well-illustrated facts and info about 200 different countries. You could also add this inexpensive, well-illustrated encyclopedia on the ancient civilization of China: the Lonely Planet Kids Not For Parents China: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know.

Lonely Planet The Travel Book: A Journey Through Every Country in the World for Ages 8 – 12 – World Encyclopedia Available in Kindle or Hardcover

The Lonely Planet brand was founded by the couple, Tony and Maureen Wheeler, after an exhilarating trip across Asia. The trip inspired so much in them that they wanted to share with the world, hence, the move to publish their very own guidebook. Today, Lonely Planet, as they named their outfit, is known globally as a source of quality travel guidebooks for different destinations across the world. Put together by experts who themselves have been to the destinations in focus, the information provided in its line of travel books is authoritative and can always be relied upon.

The Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book will keep your kids spewing facts non-stop, all through your road trip and every other place they have the opportunity. Imagine knowing something about 200 countries. That would be quite a lot! And you just have to share it, so that people won’t think that you’re not nice.

This book gives amazing facts on all kinds of cultures, wildlife, sports, shocking food, mouthwatering food, and almost anything worthy of note. In addition to this, there are tidbits of quirky insights on every page.

For better assimilation and to keep your kid’s attention, each country gets its own page. This way, your child can digest information at his pace: whether one country every night or otherwise. There’s no rush and no pressure.

Of course, there are dozens of pictures and illustrations on each page. These illustrations and photographs are highly graphic and help bring all these far-away lands to life magically, right there in your child’s sight.

It’s a great book for exploring and is best for your 8-year-old or above.

A piece of advice though – try to bind this book when you get it. Apparently, isolated reports suggest that it doesn’t hold together for long. Well, while the child in question and how he handled it might be a factor, kids are generally know… and you wouldn’t want to take chances. So, try as much as possible to bind it and you’ll be good!

Get your kids a gift they will always cherish. Order this encyclopedia now!
Best Value
Become your dino-obsessed child’s star when you get him the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs. With colorful, well-illustrated facts on 52 dinos, your kid won’t be able to put this down! Why not satisfy her curiosity with her own book of facts written in her language? It’s affordable, too. See the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of How.

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs for Ages 4 – 8 years – Available in Paperback or Hardcover

Of course we are all familiar with the brand that has brought us delight, entertainment and enlightenment for years now on animals and their habitats. We have all enjoyed its programs and probably made adjustments to our lifestyles in order to be better for the animals and the environment. In spite of its major achievements and over 100 years of existence, the National Geographic Society has never shifted focus once – it’s still thinking up ways to save the planet. Currently, it runs a store from which profits are channeled into making many of its critical projects a reality. Buying from the National Geographic Store is more than buying quality; it’s contributing your quota to life and nature as a whole.

Do you have a child that is dino-obsessed? Then there is no better gift to give him than the National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Dinosaurs. It’s got enough dinosaurs to keep your child content enough to bear with us non-dino-obsessed folk. There are 52 in all!

This book gives your dino-obsessed kid his very own first-class private tour around the pre-historical world, where his best friends (dinosaurs) once lived. From the baby dinosaurs, to mama and papa dinosaur, to the gigantic dinosaurs, your kid will be furnished with lots of fun facts.

Each dinosaur gets its own spread, so this way, your child can learn at his own pace, taking all the information in bite sizes. The language used by the author of this book is really simple and age-appropriate, with big type to keep your kid in the flow. In fact, the names of the dinosaurs come with pronunciation guides. Your little one will read this through with little or no assistance from you.

Each chapter of this book is interactive and contains tips and activities that your child can engage in to help her translate her dino experience beyond the covers of the book to real life.

But please keep in mind that you might have to bind this book before you give it to your kid, cos the binding appears a little lacking in strength.

Other than that, there’s no reason this book shouldn’t have been on the way to your house like, yesterday. Make that order!
Get your kids well-versed and then some in almost every subject taught at school with the DK The New Children’s Encyclopedia, which covers key curriculum topics in geography, history, science and technology and even more. How about something for the younger ones who always want to know everything? This tells facts like a storybook and is affordable too: DK My Encyclopedia of Very Important Things.

DK The New Children’s Encyclopedia for Ages 6 – 9 Years – Available in Paperback or Hardcover

Founded in 1974, DK has consistently churned out world-class content for its readership scattered across continents in the world today. It is known and recognized as a leading illustrated reference publisher, producing thousands of highly visual and graphic non-fiction literature for adults and kids in over 80 countries, and in more than 60 languages. This brand aims to enlighten and entertain its readers with its content, whether in print or digitally. And by combining the beauty of pictures and the power of words, DK brilliantly brings unparalleled clarity to diverse topics of interest.

When it comes to quality educational content, you know that DK doesn’t joke around. DK’s The New Children’s Encyclopedia is another confirmation of that. It comes with lots of information on key curriculum topics in subjects like science and technology, geography, history, chemistry, biology, and physics.

To assure you that DK is serious and your kids are getting solid and accurate information, this book was created and verified by a board of professionals before it was distributed. Ask any savvy teacher and they’ll tell you that, on that score, DK over-delivers.

This book comes with hundreds of fun facts, which provide important info about animals, climate change, planets, famous historical figures and more. In truth, these facts can be quite hard to keep up with even for an adult, but thankfully, DK had the genius idea to present these facts in flashcard style; now your child can learn at his pace.

Of course, we all know that kids love a book with many pictures, and this is what this encyclopedia affords your child: loads of pictures, illustrations, color, fun, and excitement! This book will draw them in and keep them there. It might be quantum mechanics (or maybe not), but it’s presented in such a fun, yet informative, style that they have no choice but to get it.

Just be a bit careful with the book – one or two have complained about the slight flimsiness of its pages. It will be in your best interests to watch your child while she reads and probably teach her a thing or two about handling books with care. So you see, another learning opportunity, not weighty enough to miss this sweet deal.

You don’t need to read a fun fact about this encyclopedia to know that it’s a must-have. It would be too late then. Order now!
How tall is Darth Vader? Where does the ferocious Nexu come from? The Disney Star Wars Character Encyclopedia knows it all! Your kids will be so impressed with all the fun facts on over 200 characters from this epic movie! You could also add this encyclopedia on all the Disney princesses for your own princess. It’s beautiful and so affordable. Check out the Disney Princess Encyclopedia.

Disney Hardcover Star Wars Character Encyclopedia for Ages 7 – 10 Years – Updated and Expanded

It’s a mission over at Disney to be one of the world’s foremost producers of quality entertainment and information anywhere in the world. It’s obvious to see how this mission has been accomplished far beyond expectation. This brand is well-known as a household name in various settings, on various continents across the world. By providing outstanding content in the form of entertainment and related products, Disney has earned a spot in our hearts that can never be etched. Its line of customer products is yet another way it connects to its millions of fans and gives them a piece of itself. What a brand!

The Disney Star Wars Character Encyclopedia! Just the name, and this book sells itself already! What healthy human, droid, not to mention kid, wouldn’t want a copy of this encyclopedia? Are you for real?

An encyclopedia that explores over 200 characters in the entire Star Wars saga. Let’s repeat that. Over 200. In the entire – that is, the complete, total, none-left-out – epic Star Wars movie. Haven’t we just hit gold, people?!

In fact, this updated and expanded edition comes with all the characters that were left out of the previous one. Lots of stuff about people, the droids, the aliens and many other new Star Wars characters you’ve been dying to know more about.

There are all kinds of fun facts about different personalities, including trivia such as how tall Darth Vader is. And if you want to know where the ferocious Nexu comes from, then you just have to get this pedia. Everyone is profiled, from hero to villain and everyone in between. None is left out at all.

And of course, the picture quality is also superior. The pages are packed full with lots of crisp, sharp and HD pictures of all the characters profiled in this book. It’s colorful, attractive and engaging.

Concerning age range, this book is best suited for a 7-year-old up to 10 years. It’s great even for novice fans of Star Wars, as this book takes them step by step through the Star Wars dynasty in a really comprehensible manner.

And really, think about it, such a great wealth of info on, perhaps, the world’s greatest movie of all time, at this price. You’d best order it now before you wake up and realize that it’s all a dream. But hey, it’s not. So, order!
The Time for Kids Big Book of Why is an encyclopedia for kids that even you will find interesting as an adult. It answers over 250 intriguing questions about animals, space, history, science and tech, you name it! A different book to add to your cart that satisfies your child’s curiosity about places and locations and is also more affordable is the Time for Kids Big Book of Where. Check it out!

Time for Kids Big Book of Why for Ages 8 – 12 Years – Other Volumes Include What, Where, When and How!

When it comes to authentic news that we can trust, we all know that one of the big names in the industry is Time. In fact, nearly everyone in the world trusts Time for accurate and quality journalism done with precision and without bias. Its subsidiary brand, Time for Kids, is a way to include the kids in the public discourse on trending national issues. Believing that kids are not too young to be in on certain happenings in their environments, Time for Kids provides well-researched text and study materials for kids, which engage them, inspire them, and encourage them to think big and begin to form their own worldviews based primarily on well-researched facts.

The Time for Kids Big Book of Why answers virtually every “why?” question your child could possibly have right now. There is all kinds of information in this book, touching popular subject areas including: science and technology, animals, history, space, sports, basically everything and anything.

Because this book is targeted at the little ones, it is presented in an easy-to-follow format, with kids’ language so that children are spoken to in a language that they understand. So, fret not, there is no issue that is too difficult for this book to break down in age-appropriate lingo that your kid will totally get.

With all these subject areas covered, your kid will be furnished with over 1001 intriguing facts that will impress their friends, teachers and even you, their parents.

And, of course, these facts are not presented in a boring, colorless, pictureless book. There are several pictures and illustrations to pass the message more clearly to your kid and keep him flipping the pages.

To cope with your kid’s attention span, the content of this book is broken down into bite sizes per page, giving your munchkin all the time she requires to accurately follow and understand the topic in question.

Watch out for the pages though; they may be a little flimsy. So you will want to start teaching your child to handle books carefully.

For such an awesome price, you know you can’t afford to miss this book. In fact, we see this kids’ encyclopedia becoming your family reference book. If reviews about it are right, even adults find this book full of intriguing facts that interest them too, not just the kids.

So, to cut a long story short, you should have ordered this book like, yesterday. Why not do it now?! By the way, Time for Kids has you covered on all those kids "Who, What, Where..." questions with their Big Book of What, Big Book of Where, Big Book of When and Big Book of How. And for the "Who" question, they've got lots of individual books on famous important people.

Kids Encyclopedia Buying Guide – What to Look for When Buying an Encyclopedia for Children

Kids’ encyclopedias are the best things ever invented after sliced bread, at least for parents, and here’s why we think so: Kids are curious and inquisitive!!! Haa! They are always asking questions and are hardly ever satisfied with the answers. They aren’t even satisfied with answers from the dictionary and Google. And it’s Google! It’s supposed to be omniscient!

But not to the kids, no!

Well, if kids have decided to launch this guerilla war, then parents have to get ready to battle with the best weapons and there’s no weapon more lethal than a kids’ encyclopedia or (encyclopedias if your kid is the president of the CC Club. Oh, that’s the Curious Cats Club, by the way).

This is why kids’ encyclopedias outdo your explanations:

They come with pictures, your words don’t. Kids can carry them to school for show and tell, but they can’t put your words in their school bags and brandish them at school. They can always pick it up from off the rack, should their curious minds have forgotten a thing or two; your explanation, on the other hand, mildly put, is in one ear and out the other.

So do you get it now?

Getting an encyclopedia or encyclopedias or encyclopediassss (for the “president” we talked about before) is not just good for you, it’s also good for them. You teach them the habit of finding out things for themselves and forming opinions based on facts and not hear-say.

So, you won’t have your child saying “I don’t like these particular people because they are this way…” just because he heard someone say that they are that way. If he has an encyclopedia on a particular country, for instance, he can find out the facts about them and then decide how he wants to feel about them independently. And if you have raised her properly, it shouldn’t be heartbreaking to know how she feels toward a people different from her.

In all, kids’ encyclopedias are extremely valuable resources that every home should have. If you’re ready to find out a thing or two about kids’ encyclopedias, then we are ready to tell you. Let’s take the journey through the next few sections together, shall we?

Video: Benefits of Reading for Children and Adults

The Power and Importance of Reading – From a Smart Child’s Perspective | Courtesy of Luke Bakic TEDx Talk
So, here we are on the subject of price, and we can here some of you. Why buy an encyclopedia when there are so many options available for free on the internet? Books provide a tactile experience that can never come from the web. We could go on and on about the benefits of reading for your child, but there is one that, to us, makes the investment worth every penny. Your child will love it, so much so that the pages are likely to get dog-eared and tattered!

Kids encyclopedias go for a range of prices, between $5 and $30 plus. Usually, things like the kind of cover, and volume of information are chief among the reasons that price can vary. For example, if the encyclopedia is paperback, you’d pay less than if it’s hardcover, and if it contains a lot of pages, it would logically cost more than another with considerably fewer pages.

Because kids’ encyclopedias are quite inexpensive, it makes no sense going to look for cheap kids’ encyclopedias. Searching out cheapies on the internet exposes you to the risk of purchasing from rip-offs. Many of these guys just string up a bunch of incorrect facts on low-grade papers with poor pictures and illustrations, but then they make the covers attractive enough to make you want to purchase. By the time you buy it and try to call the non-existent customer support team, it would already be too late. So, in essence, make it a point to avoid such charlatans.
Before you choose any one encyclopedia, there are quite a few things about encyclopedias that you must know in order to aid you in picking the right one for your child.
  • The Subject
  • Book Quality
  • Colors, Pictures, and Illustrations
  • Age Range
Let’s get into the details already!

Video: Teens React to Encyclopedias

Expose your kids to encyclopedias when they are young to nurture a love for learning! | Courtesy of FBE
Construction and Design
Because you are getting an encyclopedia for kids, it becomes doubly important to get one that is of a solid quality – talking about the book itself now and not the information in it.

Save a few particularly careful ones, kids aren’t exactly the most careful people in the world. So three major things you must check for in the book itself are size, paper quality and bind.

As for size, it’s always best to go for a large book for several reasons. It’s easier to keep neat, and it would be more easily found if lost. And lastly, large books are easier on the eyes for kids when compared to the wee small ones, especially those with tiny type.

Next, paper quality. Don’t even think of anything cheap or “magazineish;” you need something solid because, as we said, kids can be klutzes. So if you want the book to survive a trip to school and back, make sure that the pages are solid.

And finally, on the quality of the book, look at its bind. It should be a good bind. If stitched, that’s much better, so you’re sure it holds up. If you like the encyclopedia too much to want to pass it up, and the bind is just average, then ensure that you reinforce it before handing it to your kids, else it might be unrecognizable the next time you lay eyes on it. It’s all part of the adventure, though. lol.

Now, to the content itself… encyclopedias generally are supposed to come with pictures and illustrations to help the user relate better with the concepts being explained. For a kids’ encyclopedia, it goes even beyond that. Colors, pictures and illustrations play the biggest role in determining if your child will even spare the book a second glance or not.

We are not saying to go look for an encyclopedia that looks like it was involved in a tragic color accident and got a paint bath; all we are saying is that, if you think the book is probably too dull to hold your kids’ attention for long, then it probably is and you should avoid it.

Secondly, illustrations help the info learned from the book to stick better, and there’s a way the child’s brain also color codes and stores files of information for future reference. So, if the brain can connect a piece of information to a strong visual image like colors or illustrations, your child will be more likely to remember than if he keeps staring at black and white all day.

Video: Kids Tell Us: "Why I Read"

Scholastic asked kids why they read...and their answers are magical | Courtesy of Scholastic
Performance and Ease of Use
Next, what you want to do is determine the subject of interest of your child. If he/she is interested in dinosaurs or space or fairy princesses or how the body works, there are several encyclopedias that are specifically made to address a wide range of diverse subjects.

Unlike the giant tomes that are adult encyclopedias, ones for kids are usually single volumes and revolve around a theme or topic. Some of the most popular include animals encyclopedia for kids, science encyclopedia for kids, world encyclopedia for kids and trivia themed encyclopedias filled with random facts.

Now, since you want to get them something they will read, you have to make sure they are interested in the subject in question, or at least open to it. Although, generally, younger kids are open to most anything, most older kids already have their predilections toward certain subjects, so it’s best to find that out and get them something in that line.

Speaking of age, a particular encyclopedia cannot be suitable for children of all ages. As then get older, children’s minds go through rapid and frequent changes. So, though there’s only one year between 7 years and 8, there’s a whole world of difference between those two ages.

On this premise, therefore, it becomes important to always check for the age specification of an encyclopedia before you purchase it for your child. Kids’ encyclopedias are written in particular styles to cater to particular age groups. This is to ensure that the child in question is reading in a language he understands for optimum assimilation.

An older child will hate baby language, since he doesn’t want his friends to laugh at him. A little one, on the other hand, will be at a total loss if you give him something beyond his reading level. So you see now that you can’t just hand your kids any encyclopedia just because the word “kids” is emblazoned on it.

Get the Best Kids Encyclopedia of 2023!

We hope you enjoyed talking encyclopedias with us as much as we did. Let’s do this again some other time, but first, you go place that order.

Our Top Choice
Lonely Planet Kids Travel Book Encyclopedia
Best Value
National Geographic Big Book of Dinosaurs
DK The New Children’s Encyclopedia
Disney Star Wars Character Encyclopedia
Time for Kids Big Book of Why Encyclopedia

Kids Encyclopedia FAQs

How to use an encyclopedia for kids?
Using an encyclopedia is easy, as long as you follow the alphabetical menu of subjects. So you have to look for the letter with which an item begins to locate it. That’s because an encyclopedia is arranged the same way as a dictionary. When searching for people, use the last name. For places with two parts (such as New York), use the first part.
What is an encyclopedia for kids?
An encyclopedia is a set of reference books or electronic files about many topics, which are arranged in alphabetical order. They contain details about almost every known topic on earth. Kids may use an encyclopedia to search for knowledge related to what they learn in school.
Where to buy encyclopedia books for kids?
You can buy an encyclopedia for kids online. Encyclopedias for kids are available in terms of electronic files as well as hardcover books. You should be clear which kind you want before you set out to buy. If you are shopping for an encyclopedia for kids, we have reviewed some of the best.