27 May 2010

Deadly Peril and how to avoid it

by Tracey Turner and illustrated by Ben Hasler

Allen and Unwin. Young Adult, Children's Non-Fiction. Paperback rrp $16.99

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This concise and compact fact-finding book that is original in set up and content, is also interesting and entertaining. With an allocation of two pages, it gives attention to: Peril (subject), Peril Rating (out of ten) Location (of the peril), and Best Known For. These are followed by sub-sections which contain: Your Predicament, What’s the worst that can happen, The good news, and, The bad news. On the opposite page is the Field Agent’s Report which includes a picture, And how to avoid it, plus, What to do in an Emergency. Within a Fact File at the bottom of the second page, there is the truth about common misconceptions, and a great many facts and statistics on the subject at hand. Each entry has a colour coded strip at the top right hand page for easy finding.

The first coded in red, is Menace from the Deep with ten sea creatures that include the Box Jellyfish, Blue-ringed Octopus, Stone Fish, and Giant Squid. Deadly Planet follows. It contains Volcano, Avalanche, Rip Current, Quicksand, and Earthquake among its twelve entries.

Unexpected Peril has eight entries which are astonishing but which lend humour to the whole book. These include Frozen Toilet Waste, Spontaneous Human Combustion, Coconut (falling on one’s head), and Fugu. These pale in significance when compared to Animal Attack that includes Fierce Snake, Vampire Bat, Golden Poison Frog and Crocodile.

The other subjects are Small But Lethal with small insects and their dangers, Perilous Weather, that touches on various dangers presented by the natural elements, Everyday Peril, a humorous yet real depiction of dangers in daily life such as Sleepwalking, Getting Dressed, and Poisonous Garden Plants. The entries close with Adventurous Peril with Skydiving, The Bends and Cave-in.

The cover is blood red and has a black skull imprint. But this won’t deter the 13 – 103 age groups it is aimed at. At the end is a Don’t Panic! Page, and pages for notes by the reader.

No comments:

Post a Comment