Do Not Open
by John Farndon
Illustrated informational. 256 pp.
Psst . . . Hey you. Yes, you.
I dare you to open me!
Inside you'll find the incredible truth about secret stuff you're not supposed to know: weird history, strange science, mysterious places, random happenings, freaky facts of nature . . .
How do you crack a safe?
Can it rain frogs?
Could you join a secret society?
From DNA to the CIA, hackers to hoaxers, time travel to telepathy: it's all in here.
So open me up . . .
Go on, you know you want to.
As is seemingly the case with all nonfiction, it took me a while to read this book. Unlike most nonfiction, though, that seems perfectly fine for this book. For starters, all the information is typically bundled into two-page spreads. As is the case with most DK books, text is clumped into one- or two-sentence fact bites. And it's interesting. I really like the randomness of it all. Another feature I find intriguing with the layout on this book is the little bubble at the bottom of each spread pointing you to a couple other related topics. Which means that you don't have to read the book linearly.
The merit I see in that is the way it will be able to appeal to younger readers who are just going to find the information and illustrations intriguing. For example, there were a couple weekends when the Boy swiped the book off my nightstand. And he read longer than our minimum standard without even wondering how much time he had left. I think the randomness really catered well to his mind and its desire to go ADD on him.
Another advantage I see in this book is that as I was reading, a number of the little factoids struck me as interesting launching points for longer works. So, if you want a collection of writing prompts, this book has a nice little secondary function as one.
Abby (the) Librarian | Many a Quaint and Curious Volume | The Imperfect Parent