'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday 6 April 2009

Review: The Dangerous Book For Boys

Well, if you ask me, I think what’s happening to boys is that they’re losing their connection to real life, and are instead living their lives inside a Nintendo DS. A virtual virtual reality.

The Iggulden Bros’ book helps young whippersnappers reconnect with all things real and handy and useful and, well… fabulous. And macho, for that matter. After all, it really would be remiss of parents not to teach young boys how to hunt and cook a rabbit (I hope my daughter doesn’t read this post!).

This gorgeous book is a must-read for all boys – combining classic know-how with retro tips that will have you reeling from a blast from the past; it’s no wonder my son has flicked through its pages since he was four years old - even at that tender age, there is something magnetic about learning how to do and make... boys' stuff.

Yes, boys need to know how to make a periscope, battery and a go-kart. They need to know the rules for cricket and football, how to make a bow and arrow (for hunting his sister’s rabbits) and how to conjugate verbs. Many will love the stories from famous battles and the parts on navigation and dog tricks. And how cool would it be to know your naval flag codes?

My only gripe would be the lack of an index - monumentally handy for finding information on catapults.

Well laid out, with a range of delightful illustrations and photographs, this could become a staple Must Know bible for all young boys. Or nosey-parker mums keen to muscle in on that elusive secret boys' society... (now I know how to tie a clover hitch!).

Title: The Dangerous Book for Boys
Author: Gonn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
Illustrator: Richard Horne
Publisher: HarperCollins, $45
Publication date: 13 July 2006
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780007232741
For ages: 8+
Type: Non-Fiction, Activity Books