Thursday, January 23, 2014

Shelf Life [kids]

It Can’t be True!  The Book of Incredible Visual Comparisons by the editors of DK Publishing, 192 pages.
    
Did you know that the world’s biggest iceberg was the size of the entire country of Belgium, and that the tallest iceberg stood higher above sea level than the Great Pyramid?  Did you know that the weight of the Great Pyramid is equivalent to sixteen Empire State Buildings … or that the moon is the same size as Australia? 
    
Readers will probably also be intrigued to know that the world’s longest snake is the length of  twelve men, that the world’s smallest bird (the bee hummingbird, which lives only in Cuba) can perch on the tip of a pencil, and that the world’s tiniest computer is smaller than the nail of a person’s little finger.
    
Many of the astonishing facts in this book will take readers – even adult readers - aback. Is it really possible that our entire Earth could fit inside Jupiter more than 1000 times, or that the biggest star is 1,400 times the size of the sun?
    
As the title promises, many eye-catching visuals accompany the incredible facts revealed in this book about our world and the universe.
     
“It can’t be true!” is likely to be on the lips of both avid and reluctant readers over and over again.

** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

100 Most Feared Creatures by Carey Scott, 112 pages.
    
To no one’s surprise, sharks (ten types of them) are included in Carey Scott’s gallery of the top one hundred terrifying and dangerous creatures on our planet, along with a plethora of scary snakes, poisonous frogs and jellyfish, carnivorous mammals, spiders, biting insects and even some deadly birds and fish.
    
Some of the creatures on the list are large – even enormous - and some are quite small. Some are deceptively lovely – for example, the beautifully-coloured poison dart frog or the delicate-looking Australian box jelly (one touch from this little critter can cause a person to suffer a heart attack).
    
Facts (size, habitat, habits and deadly abilities) and photos are included for each specimen.  
    
Many facts in this book are quite incredible. For example, did you know that the King Cobra Snake can measure 5.5 metres or 18 feet in length … or that it can actually growl as well as hiss?
    
What creature is considered by the author to be the most fearful of all?  Perhaps it’s the creature that can spray acid-filled blood from its eyes, or the predator which can swallow a creature twice its size … but you’ll need to read the book to find out!
     
Various other titles in the “100 Most” series, such as 100 Most Awesome things on the Planet, 100 Scariest Things on the Planet and 100 Deadliest Things on the Planet, are also available at the Stratford Public Library.

** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years. 

This review appeared in The Stratford Gazette on January 23, 2014. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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