What is War?

What is War?

By Author / Illustrator

Eduard Altarriba


Non Fiction

Age range(s)



Button Books




Paperback / softback




What is War? is a book designed to offer a simple answer to all the questions kids might ask when hearing about war and conflict. Why do countries or different ideological groups fight? What are the key points between different types of conflict? Is there such a thing as a just war? What are the tools used to wage war, from weapons to propaganda? How can we end wars, and who are the real winners and losers?

This book tells the reader through clear explanations punctuated by historical and contemporary examples what war is and how it can be prevented. It is part of a series of books for children designed to provide them with all the information they need to understand the complex world we live in.

Watch the Book Trailer                     See also: Migrants



Another fascinating NF book from Button Books and Eduard Altarriba, What is War? holds the answers to many questions regarding the origins, reasons and consequences of war. It takes what could be a frightening and worrying topic for children and clearly and calmly expands and unpicks the different questions they are most likely to have.  Throughout the book, there is a liberal use of stylish images to engage and appeal to the reader - with a black, white and red colour scheme for the text, the effect is bold, modern and fresh.

The author takes an informative, historical look at war from the early Neolithic age to contemporary wars and conflicts, including North Korea, Syria and the Ukraine. The references run right up to (and beyond) February 24th 2022 as the date that the current war of Russia against the Ukraine began and provides all the dates, times and facts that a great NF source should.

It also seeks to impartially explain the "why" behind many different countries' decisions to go to war and asks what is a "Just" war, debating the consequences on a large scale and a humanitarian level. It's a very powerful book - so interesting and informative, with time also taken to provide an excellent glossary, and written with each word carefully considered to give the reader a true understanding of all that they read.

48 pages / Reviewed by Jennifer Caddick, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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