________________ CM . . . . Volume XII Number 8 . . . . December 9, 2005

cover

They Did What?! Your Guide to Weird & Wacky Things People Do.

Jeff Szpirglas. Illustrated by Dave Whamond.
Toronto, ON: Maple Tree Press, 2005.
64 pp., pbk. & cl., $12.95 (pbk.), $21.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-897066-23-6 (pbk.), ISBN 1-897066-22-8.

Subject Headings:
Popular culture.
Curiosities and wonders.

Grades 4-7 / Ages 9-12.

Review by Lee Anne Smith.

**½ /4

excerpt:

When wedding bells rang for Phet and Ploy, two cats (yes cats!) from Thailand, it was an extravagant affair. Five hundred guests attended, and the two cats arrived by helicopter and limousine. A parrot was best man and an iguana the maid of honour for this happy feline pair.


Lovers of trivia will satisfy their longings for all things weird and wacky when they read this book. A compendium of Fads, Believe-it or Nots, Hoaxes, Extreme Jokes, Dare Devil acts and Weird Science, this book will appeal to those who love to browse factoids for bits of silly jetsam.

     I find trivia books are not the easiest to evaluate. It is difficult to ascertain the level of authority of such urban legends, jokes and the like; however, the acknowledgments do thank several people for their help in fact-checking the information. A table of contents and an index are helpful to readers interested in locating specific stories about the strange antics of humans.

     The format of this book, with its small bites of information, seems to me to be more of a huge list than an actual book. For that reason, comment on the quality of writing is limited. They Did What? is certainly an easy title to browse, and it is well organized with one set of wacky stories logically linked to the next. One proviso - my own lack of experience as a reader of trivia may have not caught repetitions from other books. The audience for this type of book may have already read some of the factoids listed. Hopefully, there are a few surprises still in store. Although trivia books are usually found in the nonfiction stacks, I would consider They Did What? best for recreational reading.

Recommended with reservations.

Lee Anne Smith is a youth services librarian and Head of the Cambie Branch for Richmond Public Library in Richmond. BC.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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