Christmas Countdown: Days 8, 9 ,10 - Bad Advice, Records and Survival!

This trio of gift ideas neatly summarises the Silly Season, don’t you think?!

The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice

A F Harrold is known for his poetic turns of phrase and deeply emotive narratives. He credits stroking his long wild beard as a way to churn out ideas. Well, he must have one very smooth beard for this book of not entirely useful but unarguably hilarious advice is brimming with more fun and folly than you can fit in a bathtub. In fact it virtually runneth over with rhyme, witty word play and enough nonsensical verse stories to keep the most ardent young poetry-lover glued to its pages.

Harrold’s worldly poetic inscriptions of advice are thoughtfully grouped into common sections, presumably to keep things orderly and understandable. And that’s where any pretence at seriousness disappears with section subtitles that read like this: Advice mainly relating to food, ducks and dessert. Or … Section 2: Advice mainly relating to animals, giants and the natural world. Kids will find the collations more than a little amusing and most likely succumb to a mad fit of the giggles by the time they hit the poem entitled Gravy is Not a Perfume; something you’d do well to remember in the company of hungry hounds. And the illustrations by Mini Grey … wow! Visual poetry in vibrant shocks of amber, yellow, green and severed-finger-reds! Yes really…but you have to see this to believe it.

So if you are keen to impart a few of life’s wisdoms to the very young this Christmas in a way that both grabs interest and causes a fair amount nose-chortling, this is the book of spectacularly silly poems for you.

Highly recommended.

Title:  The Book of Not Entirely Useful Advice
Author:  A F Harrold
Illustrator:  Mini Grey
Publisher:  Bloomsbury Children’s Books, $29.99
Publication Date:  September 2020
Format:  Hardcover
: 9781526618016
For ages:  6+
Type: Illustrated Poetry

Buy the Book: Bloomsbury Books, Boomerang Books

Guinness World Records2021

Not even pandemic-sized lockdowns or quarantines could stop humans breaking records as this edition of one of the world’s best-selling book testifies. Bigger, better and now featuring dedicated chapters to gaming and try-at-home challenges, the Guinness World Records 2021 collection is stuffed full of facts, figures, unbelievable images and incredible feats and records that defy reality. Every aspect of human curiosity is amply fed with page after page of the extraordinary yet ostensibly true bizarrities of life from space travel, technology, animals, pop culture, sports and adventures. It’s all there in spell-binding colour and easy-to-read text boxes. I’m not sure what makes record breaking so addictive, either to attempt or simply just read about, but it is and for knowledge-thirsty youngsters or mad-keen trivia fanatics, this book is a must have. Personally I found it hard to divert my attention from this edition’s Lego-coloured, Simpsons-esque cover detail. A. Maze. Ing.

Title:  Guinness World Records 2021
Editor-in-Chief: Craig Glenday 
Illustrator:  Rod Hunt
Publisher:  Pan Macmillan, $44.99
Publication Date:  September 2020
Format:  Hardcover
: 9781913484071
For ages: 10+
Type:  Non Fiction

Buy the Book: Pan Macmillan, QBD Books, Readings

The Human Body Survival Guide

Master of making sense of science and other non-fictional material, George Ivanoff brings us another in his Survival Guide series. If you thought The Australia Survival Guide witty and wonderfully useful, wait until you work your way through this anatomically directed collection of physiological facts and figures. Ivanoff really knows how to research his subject matter; the level of detail is truly gobsmacking.

Old mate – aka ‘game me’ is the narrator again, this time forsaking the likely-to-die-o-meter for the Gross-O-Meter, because everybody knows that humans bodies are just one walking vessel of grossness, right! ‘Me’ sets out to disprove this or more accurately confirms it by exploring every nook and cranny of our anatomy. Insides and outsides and all the sneaky hidden bits tucked away in folds and creases are ruthlessly exposed for what they really are, what they mean and their use to keep us alive. Real life first aid advice is given that goes beyond physical treatment, mental well-being is part of human survival as well after all.

The Human Body Survival Guide covers everything and although laced heavily with humour contains enough conversational candour to provide young readers with a fascinating array of biological facts that will feed and nourish their natural curiosity. Think of it as a series of Operation Ouch! TV shows conveniently tucked into a handy, all-in-one volume.

Entertaining, practical and for lovers of science like me, just my jam!

Title:  The Human Body Survival Guide
Author:  George Ivanoff
Publisher:  Penguin Random House, Puffin, $24.99
Publication Date:  September 2020
Format:  Hardcover
: 9781760896744
For ages:  10+
Type:  Junior Non Fiction

Buy the Book: QBD Books, Boomerang Books,  Booktopia



ytvideostofb said…

Are you waiting for Christmas as much as we are? Check out this Christmas Countdown clock to know how many days, hours, minutes and seconds till Christmas. How many days until Christmas Day? Find out the date, how long in days until and count down to till Christmas Day with a countdown clock.

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