Hello all you SOTW ladies! (and those just checking out the thread! ).... I had spoken to some of you on abcteach about history resources. I was very interested in using the Usborne History and Kingfisher History Encyclopedia. The Story of the World by Wise Bauer seems to go right along with the method I would like to use with my kids (reading to them aloud and doing correlating projects) while my young precocious son could dig more deeply at will using the two refernce books I mentioned. Anyway, here is my question: Is the material in SOTW, book and activity guide, worth the extra $$$$, or would the Usborne and Kingfisher deliver the same information and thus be more cost effective? My concern lies in the fact that I have been reading mixed reviews on the quality of the SOTW materials, and I am especially concerned that the quality of the maps and drawings are laughable. I have checked out the site and viewed a sample from the book that disappointed me somewhat, so I am not going on hearsay alone. We have many other Kingfisher reference books and they have alot of hands-on activities included so I wonder if their History Encyclopedia contains activities as well. One reviewer suggested looking through the entire book before purchasing, as they were extremely disappointed in the cost vs. actual value of the resource. I am trusting you guys to give me some honest feedback since nobody I know uses these books for me to go take a look at. Sorry to bug you ladies about this again.....I am wanting to be certain (at least have an extremely well-informed opinion) before purchasing.