I love books - if you're a regular visitor to PlayPennies then you'll already know this - but I REALLY have a thing for reference books.
I dislike not knowing things and whilst Google is a very handy resource, there's nothing quite like being able to turn the pages of an Atlas or an Encyclopedia to find the information you were looking for.
My most treasured set of reference books are an old set of Chambers's Encyclopedia published in 1901. They smell old and a lot of the information they hold is now out of date - the fold out maps, especially - looking through them is like travelling back in time and I'll have to be dead before I part with them.
I'm really taken with this Children's Illustrated Internet Linked Encyclopedia - it combines my 'thing' for books with the power of the Internet and if it develops a thirst for knowledge in young children then it can only be a good thing.
It contains spectacular illustrations, photographs and maps.
There are thousands of entries on a huge range of topics and up-to-the-minute coverage of world events; you can jump from one entry to another and find out more with comprehensive cross-references and there are hundreds of expertly selected links that will take you to the best websites for each topic.
This is such a bargain, in my opinion; my youngest son will be finding a copy of this under the Christmas tree this year that's for sure.
Thanks to redvers at HUKD