________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 7. . . .October 16, 2009


100% Pure Fake.

Lyn Thomas.
Toronto, ON: Kid Can Press, 2009.
48 pp., hardcover, $17.95.
ISBN 978-1-55453-290-2.

Subject Headings:
Scientific recreations-Juvenile literature.
Science-Experiments-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-7 / Ages 8-12.

Review by Rosemary Hollett.

*** /4



The Creepy Cut Artery Effect

Blood that flows through arteries is darker than your bright red Basic Blood. To make arterial blood, put 15ml (1 tbsp.) of Basic Blood into a clean bowl. Add a few drops of green food coloring. Drip some of this blood onto your neck and wait for someone to scream.


At first glance, 100% Pure Fake will elicit a quick "yuck" or "eww" response from adults. After taking a second look, however, it is easy to see that this somewhat revolting book is absolutely fun. Don't let the nasty factor fool you. Children will love it, especially boys 7 to 11 and perhaps, beyond.

     In 100% Pure Fake author Lyn Thomas has tapped into every boys' (and some girls') love of the disgusting, the gross, and the just plain horrible. Fake body fluids and funny practical jokes abound. The author has delivered 25 safe, kid-tested recipes that can be made with ingredients found in most households, including corn syrup, rolled oats, makeup and pasta. Other ingredients are widely available in grocery and craft stores. Each project is presented with step-by-step instructions and suggestions, such as this one from "Road Kill Guts:"

Try this classic and never-fail Halloween trick. Put your fake guts into a plastic bag. Turn off the lights. Ask people to reach in and feel them. Then flick on the lights so they can see what they've been touching.

internal art     The layout is common to many high-interest, elementary science and craft publications today. Each section consists of two or four pages with minimum text, cartoon-like illustrations and some photographs, boxed material lists and tips sidebars. You will also find safety warnings in bright colours stating such things as "Hot Liquids! Get Adult Help."

      There is a table of contents with chapters such as: Rotting Skin, Edible Barf and Severed Finger. Everything from fake boogers to edible doggie-doo can be found between the covers of this stomach-churning volume!

      Despite my reservations about encouraging some of these practical jokes, they are harmless, easy and amusing. I do expect this book to fly off the shelves in every primary and elementary school. You may need more than one copy!


Rosemary Hollett is a teacher-librarian at St. Emile School Library in Winnipeg, MB.

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

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