By Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
Includes illustrations and photographs
By Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
Illustrations by Alexis Seabrook
(also includes photographs)
Amongst the contents of The Dangerous Book for Boys there are instructions for making a battery, tips for understanding grammar, a list of books every boy should read, the rules of chess, Shakespearean quotes, information on various dinosaurs, stories of famous battles, questions about the world and the history of artillery. In addition to that (and much more), maps of the stars, The Declaration of Independence, the seven ancient wonders of the world, and the origins of words are also included.
Children perusing The Daring Book for Girls will learn which kind of snow is the best for making snowballs, how to make paper, the rules of basketball, math tricks, Japanese t-shirt folding, how to change a tire, and how to make a lemon-powered clock. Among that (and other) information, there’s also a list of items for every girl’s toolbox, short biographies on queens of the ancient world, weather related vocabulary words, and a short history of women inventors and scientists.
Between the two titles a wide variety of topics is covered, which is why I wish I’d had both of these books as a child. Though the same people did not create them, they serve as excellent companions. I was disappointed that there wasn’t anything about camping in the Boy’s book; the Girl’s covers sleep outs (pg. 117) and building a campfire (pg. 127). I was disheartened when I noticed there was no information about insects in the Girl’s book; the Boy’s book has an excellent section on insects and spiders (pgs. 83-88) with several photographs.
I’d also recommend both books to any adults who may have found themselves uttering the phrase “I’m bored” anytime in the last month. Having pulled both these titles from my bookshelves to review them, I’ve realized they need to be on my coffee table instead.
Both books are well written, engaging and perfectly suitable for sharing with young children or allowing older children to use on their own. Clear step-by-step instructions, coupled with detailed illustrations, make learning to tie the “five knots every boy should know” (Boys, pg. 9), or “doing a cartwheel” (Girls, pg. 58), easy to achieve.
It would be impossible for either book to be comprehensive but, between the two titles, quite a lot of amazing information is shared, with surprisingly little overlap. Though it may be tricky convincing some children to use a book clearly made for the opposite gender, it would be wonderful for kids to have both titles to learn from. I think grown-ups will enjoy the activities just as much. Take the opportunity to get away from electronic stimulation and teach the family dog some tricks (Boys, pg. 177), read someone’s palm (Girls, pg. 8), learn to juggle (Boys, pg. 89), or make a peach pit ring (Girls, pg. 200).
The Dangerous Book for Boys
The Daring Book for Girls