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

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Review: What's Weird on Earth

What’s Weird on Earth is packed full of fun, interesting, unbelievable and truly bizarre facts, uniquely presented in visual maps of the world. It makes a fun accompaniment to DK’s What’s Where on Earth Atlas and shows a cross section of the world’s unusual animals, happenings, people and places that will appeal to kids’ natural curiosity.

Let’s start with nature, or should I say, the naturally weird. Where would you find a boiling river? What about a petrifying well that turns things into stone? Or are you more interested in where to find fairy circles or a red beach? These maps will show you where to find the world’s craziest trees, freakiest flowers and funkiest fungi, not to mention bizarre animals and their adaptations.

Each double page spread in this fascinating book is a 3D world map, overlaid with images and boxes of text. It is visually appealing and easy to follow, with sections on nature, the supernatural, places, people, history and fun facts.

Interested in weather? You can explore a map showing the frequency of lightening strikes, or another showing wild weather phenomenon such as coloured snow, rainiest place in the world, the longest lasting lightning bolt and the deepest snowfall. Can you believe that animal rain showers can actually happen? Imagine people’s surprise when rats fell from the sky in Indonesia and thousands of fish rained down on India!

You can learn how oceanographers tracked the time and movement of ocean currents by tracking 28,800 rubber ducks and bath toys that fell off a ship in the Pacific Ocean in 1992.

Or if you are interested in the spooky, you might like to discover the world’s most haunted places and locations of UFO sightings. You can also discover mysterious monsters such as the Loch Ness Monster, the Yeti, werewolves, and a man-eating tree in Guinea.

The section on places contains maps of lucky landmarks, awesome architecture, bizarre buildings and crazy mazes. One of my favourites is a map of bookish places, pointing out the settings for a range of classic books and movies, including Little House on the Prairie, the Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, Dracula and Anne of Green Gables.

There are also countess fun facts, such as the world’s crazy laws – would the kids would like to find out where it is illegal for elephants to go on the beach? Or to put ice cream in someone’s mailbox, or to pass wind in a public place after 6pm on Thursdays? Then you had better show them this book!

What’s Weird on Earth has a great balance of useful and interesting scientific information, along with fun facts that the kids will delight in telling you. A unique approach to a kids’ fact book that is sure to be a hit!

Title: What's Weird on Earth
Publisher: DK, $29.99
Publication Date: 26 February 2018
Format: Hard Cover
ISBN: 9780241317624
For ages: 7+
Type: Non-Fiction