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The Dangerous Book for Boys & The Daring Book for Girls

Boys

The Dangerous Book for Boys

Non-Fiction

All Ages

By Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden

Includes illustrations and photographs

288 pages

HarperCollins

2007

 

 

Girls

The Daring Book for Girls

Non-Fiction

All Ages

By Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz

Illustrations by Alexis Seabrook

(also includes photographs)

288 pages

HarperCollins

2007

 

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.

Boys, pg. 1

Boys, pg. 1

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.

Girls, pg. 67

Girls, pg. 67

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.

Boys, pg. 111

Boys, pg. 111

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.

Girls, pg. 90

Girls, pg. 90

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

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The Daring Book for Girls

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Creep! Crawl! and Plip-Plop Pond! are chew proof, rip proof and washable!

The INDESTRUCTIBLES Series

Creep! Crawl!

Plip-Plop Pond!

 

Board Books

Ages Birth to 2

By Kaaren Pixton

6 pages

Workman Publishing

2009-2010

 

These books truly are indestructible, which in this case is defined as chew proof and rip proof. My one-year old niece has put quite a lot of effort into trying to destroy and/or eat these books to no avail. And really, that’s how most infants, and many toddlers, “read” books.

The books are made of a smooth, thick, woven paper, much like those soft FedEx envelopes; the pages are sewn together so no staples to worry about either. Besides being durable, they’re nontoxic and washable. Seriously. You can just throw them in the washing machine or dishwasher.

Creep! Crawl! and Plip-Plop Pond! are wordless, as are most of the books in this series. The art seems to be a mix of cut paper and paint and is colorful, engaging and lively.

Creep! Crawl! features various insects and animals that creep and crawl. There’s a bright green grasshopper atop a vibrant pile of fall leaves, a very happy worm slithering across rich, varicolored dirt and a fiery centipede with black stripes sliding over emerald leaves.

Plip-Plop Pond! introduces your baby to the inhabitants of a pond by way of a happy, waving frog. He passes by some salamanders, visits a crane and stops to admire a dragonfly with a sunbathing turtle.

The main action is given away in each of the titles (see below). I think they’re all worth owning. They’re an excellent introduction into the world of books for your littlest readers. They’ll also make a great gift for that person you know who just had a baby.

Wiggle! March!

Flutter! Fly!

Jungle Rumble!

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Hey Diddle Diddle

Humpty Dumpty

Mama and Baby!

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