________________ CM . . . . Volume VI Number 1 . . . . September 3, 1999

cover Funny You Should Ask.

Marg Meikle.
Markham, ON: Scholastic Canada Ltd., 1998.
154 pp., pbk., $6.99.
ISBN 0-590-12489-7.

Subject Heading:
Children's questions and answers.

Grades 5 and up / Ages 10 and up.
Review by Helen Arkos.

**** /4


"Why do we eat popcorn at the movies?"
"Why is scoring three goals called a "hat trick" in hockey?"
"Why is Newfoundland time half an hour earlier than the Maritimes?"
Marg Meikle is "The Answer Lady" whom we used to hear on CBC Radio's Gabereau show. This compilation of questions and answers is a perfect book to take along to the dentist's office, to the airport or on a long car trip. Its entries are just the right length to read in snippets when you are in the mood for a new factoid. Trivia collectors will be in their glory when they find the answers to these most common questions, "Why do we get electric shocks in our fillings when we chew on aluminum foil? How was duct tape invented?" and "How are hurricanes named?" In fact, a total listing of the six-year rotation of all the names currently used for hurricanes is provided.
      Several questions are rather lavatorial in nature. These would have immense appeal to junior high age students and especially teachers who have taught in junior high schools for too long.
      "Where do you go to the bathroom in an igloo?" - No, not outside.
"Can you really drink your urine?" - The answer is yes, you can, and some people do. But the question is, would you really want to? "What did we use before toilet paper?"
      There are some surprises as in the answer to "What does the nursery rhyme 'Ring Around the Rosie' mean?" And no, it does not, in fact, refer to the Black Death. And did you know that WintOGreen Lifesavers spark in the dark when you bite into them? And yes, it is possible to dye your hair with Kool-Aid although it is rather more complicated than you would expect.
      Illustrated throughout with comic strip type sketches, this amusing book is divided into 15 sections dealing with a range of topics from "Amazing Answers about Animals" to "Origins of Weird Words and Phrases."
      "The Answer Lady" even attempts to answer that perennial question asked by all teens who have been requested to remove their baseball hats. "Why is it impolite for boys and men to wear a hat indoors, but not for a woman?"

Highly Recommended.

Helen Arkos, the teacher-librarian at John Pritchard School in Winnipeg, MB, has taught junior high students for a considerable length of time.

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

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364