Lizard_Lo... 5


Add to my Circle of Trust

Subscribe to reviews

About me:

Member since:01.01.1970



Off With Her Head

29.03.2003 (17.10.2003)

A great collection, invaluable for kids


Recommendable Yes:

23 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
very helpful by (98%):
  1. vdubbed78
  2. bellalucia
  3. Bodd
and 43 other members
helpful by (2%):
  1. Kyz22

View all ratings

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Share this review on

When I was at school I did not have the faintest interest in History lessons, mainly due to the teacher not making the lessons exciting or informative. As I have matured I have developed a keen interest in all things historical and dreaded the thought that my children would find the subject boring if they too had a disinterested teacher. However, all of my children seem to find the subject fascinating, and devour books avidly when they contain anything historical.

We discovered the Horrible History books some years ago when my eldest son was about five. They offer an offbeat look at periods through History, with stories told in an amusing and entertaining way, which appeals to children.

Horrible Histories have now developed a magazine collection, which is published every two weeks, costing £1.99. As soon as it was advertised on the TV, we placed an order at the newsagent, and now collect our copy each fortnight. The magazines are based on the Horrible History books, written by Terry Deary, and are illustrated by Martin Brown.

The magazines tell stories of different ages through history, each week focussing on a different time period and gives them snappy titles, such as “The Groovy Greeks”, “Horrible Henry”, “Mummy Mania”, “The Measly Middle Ages”, and so forth. These titles appeal to children, and encourage them to take an interest in History, without even knowing they are doing so.

The magazines are produced on thick paper and contain approximately 23-25 pages per issue. The quality of the paper is most beneficial, as it is ideal for children who will read them not just once, but who will also refer to them during their education.

The front cover of each magazine depicts a cartoon picture of a scene pertaining to the history period featured in that issue, and is always of a comical nature, featuring speech bubbles with funny quotes.

Each magazine is aimed at a different time in history and has different sections.


The “Terrible Times” section features a story in comic strip style, and tells the reader about a historical figure from the era in question. The story is a three page spread and always contains a title that will make the children laugh, for instance in the “Angry Aztecs” issue, this section is entitled “Cactus if you can”.


”Who’s Who?” is another three page spread and in each issue focuses on a particular person from the historical era featured in that magazine. Origins of names are explained, and there are normally a couple of cartoons featured in the section. The “Horrible Happenings” section relates a custom of the era, which today would be deemed strange, such as when Hernan Cortes met with the Aztecs. The Aztec steward cut himself with a dagger, and offered the Spaniards his blood on straws. The Spanish were disgusted, but as this was a custom of the Aztecs, there was no reason for them to feel this way. Stories such as this appeal greatly to my children, and is one of the reasons that these magazines are so well thumbed.


This page, as suggested by its title, is set out as though from a newspaper of the time. For example, in the edition featuring The Aztecs, one of the articles advertises the sale of gold nose, ear and lip plugs in the local market. The advertisement advises Aztecs that if they are common, they will not be allowed to purchase gold, and if they are seen wearing any, the offence is punishable by death.


This section deals with landmarks of the time, e.g. Tower of London and covers two pages. A large picture with some very funny scenes is captioned and labelled detailing the place in question. There is also a written section detailing places of the time, and the Tower where Henry VIII beheaded many people has always been of great interest to my children.


The section is devoted to the day to day life of the period and also delves into the reasons behind “Rotten Rules” and “Loony Laws” of the times. The section also has articles on games that the people in this era would have played, as well as how children were treated. My children have read some of the stories here, wide eyed, as they have learned of the awful lives of children throughout History.


No magazine is complete without a puzzle section, and “Horrible Histories” provides two pages in each issue. However, although the puzzles feature matching puzzles, quizzes, and crosswords relating to articles in that particular magazine, there are also some fun ideas, such as how to do some Aztec maths, using the dots and dashes from the Aztec Age. All answers are at the bottom of the page, but we always cover these up so there can be no cheating.


Horrible Histories of course contains free gifts with some of the issues. In an early issue, we received an attractive tin, which holds the Wild and Wicked Card collection, included in the price of the magazine. The cards are index sized and partitions are supplied with the tin, which divide the cards into segments, such as “Rotten Rulers”, “Death and Disaster” and Kooky & Spooky”. Each card contains some handy facts about different historical figures, and provide an interesting referencing tool for the child, as well as having a small quiz on the back of each card.

A display case was issued with the second publication of the magazine, which had to be assembled into an upright box type folder. A wonderful idea, as the magazines are then kept together, and not left lying at different places all over the house.

There is also a hard-backed timeline folder to collect which is set into sections, Sinister 16th Century, Scandalous 17th Century, Measly Middle Ages, Terrible 20th Century etc. The folder sets out important dates in History, and comical cartoon pictures accompany some of the listings.

My children both love the magazine and it has been far more helpful than any reference book with their history homework. It is interesting, and is written in such an amusing way, that it will keep children and adults enthralled for hours.

We shall definitely keep these for the grandchildren. If you have not seen the magazines in your newsagent, go and place an order. Your children will thank you for it.
  Write your own review

Share this review on

« Previous review   Next review »

Rate this review »

How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines

Rate as exceptional

Rate as somewhat helpful

Rate as very helpful

Rate as not helpful

Rate as helpful

Rate as off topic

Write your own review Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful. Write a review and you will earn 0.5p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful.   Report a problem with this review’s content

Comments about this review »

bellalucia 04.11.2003 13:32

I think these are fantastic, I've bought a few for the little boy of a friend and he thinks they're great x

Bodd 31.10.2003 17:18

I lurve this magazine, and the books too. Any thing that gets kids interested in the world is top in my book. And adults for that matter... Bodd

JessL 21.10.2003 17:33

This op brought back lots of memories - I'm going to the attic now to hunt around for my collection of the books! x

Add your comment

max. 2000 characters

  Post comment

Similar offers for Horrible Histories »

1 to 3 out of 100 similar offers for Horrible Histories Show all similar offers
BBC Horrible Histories Specials

BBC Horrible Histories Specials

Ridiculous Romance Get ready for stories of love with a truthful twist... Henry VIII fell ... more

for Anne of Cleves based on her portrait but it
seems the painter was way too kind to her; Marc
Antony should never have accepted that friend
request from Cleopatra; while William the
Conqueror skipped charm altogether. Frightful
First World War Care for a quick lice snack? Fancy
a cup of tea that guarantees a bout of diarrhoea?
What about becoming a spy disguised as a Girl
Guide? All this and more is on offer in this Great
War special which promises everything ghastly and
downright gripping about this time.

 Visit Shop  >
Postage & Packaging:  £1.99
Availability:  1 Day

Horrible Histories Gruesome Guides - Oxford

Horrible Histories Gruesome Guides - Oxford

Details:History with all the nasty bits left in!Horrible Histories Gruesome Guides: Oxford ... more

takes readers on a gore-tastic tour of the streets
of Oxford, exposing all of its most scurrilous
secrets. With the frightful full-colour map
tourists can plot their path to the past - take a
punt past corpse-ridden Christchurch and go
skeleton-spotting at the cruel and crumbling
castle. Ideal for:A trip no Horrible Histories fan
will want to miss. This paperback book has 96
pages and measures: 19.7 x 13 x 0.8cm.

 Visit Shop  >
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Rate it now
Horrible Histories Blood-Curdling Box Of Books - 20 Books

Horrible Histories Blood-Curdling Box Of Books - 20 Books

Featuring some of the very best from Terry Deary's Horrible Histories series, and ... more

displayed in a great printed lift top storage box,
this fantastic set is a must have for any child's
book shelf. This Horrible Histories box set of
fantastic children's books includes practically
all of the series' favourites, including Rotten
Romans, Vicious Vikings and Savage Stone Age and
encourages children to really engage with
historical subjects in a way that they will
thoroughly enjoy. By picking out the fun parts of
the subject, mainly the gory and revolting bits,
this Horrible Histories set makes learning fun and
exciting and a little less of a chore. As well as
being invaluable for school history projects, this
set is both educational and fun, with books that
children will choose to read again and again.
These best-selling books were the basis for a
fantastic TV series which has won three BAFTA
awards. Horrible Histories was also the first
children's TV show to win a BBC Comedy Award.This
Collection Includes: Savage Stone-AgeAwesome
EgyptiansGroovy GreeksRotten RomansCult-Throat
CeltsSmashing SaxonsVicious VikingsStormin
NormansAngry AztecsIncredible IncasMeasly Middle
AgesTerrible TudorsSlimy StuartsGorgeous
GeorgiansVile VictoriansVillainous Victorians
Barmy British Empire Frightful First World War
Woeful Second World War Blitzed Brits

 Visit Shop  >
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Rate it now

More reviews »

Review Ratings »

This review of Horrible Histories has been rated:

"very helpful" by (98%):

  1. vdubbed78
  2. bellalucia
  3. Bodd

and 43 other members

"helpful" by (2%):

  1. Kyz22

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Are you the manufacturer / provider of Horrible Histories? Click here