Sunday, 15 September 2019

Brain Fizzing Facts by Dr Emily Grossman (illustrated by Alice Bowsher), reviewed by Dawn Finch

 First the blurb...
Why is your elbow called your funny bone? How could you escape the grip of a crocodile's jaw? Which animal can breathe through its bottom? And how do these things all link together? This brilliant book by the science expert Dr Emily Grossman will have eyebrows raised and jaws dropping as it uncovers the amazing scientific explanations behind all sorts of questions that can pop into our heads. Can an egg bounce? How can a giraffe's ridiculously long neck contain the same number of bones as a human's? How much does the Internet weigh?

I was drawn to this book first by the brilliant illustrations by Alice Bowsher. The loud and bold illustrations on the cover drew my attention and, throughout the book, they punctuate and emphasise the superbly fascinating facts. I know that it is an oft-repeated phrase that “I couldn’t put it down”, but this is so true with Brain Fizzing Facts! I have bored my family and friends with endless “Did you know…?” moments.

I love Dr Emily Grossman’s work, and this book is completely addictive. Thirty VERY IMPORTANT science-related questions are asked (such as which planet stays dark for 21 years at a time, or what the centre of the milky way tastes like) and explained in detail via a whole bunch of other interesting stuff. These are not hastily dumped facts, these are all beautifully and memorably explained, and wrapped around those eye-catching illustrations.
Who wouldn't want to know this?!
This book should live on every teacher’s desk, and every school librarian’s so that you can randomly read bits out. It should be in every kitchen for random reading aloud moments, every car for breaking up boring journeys, and every bathroom for those..ermmm…. longer stays…. It’s the kind of book that’s worth carrying around in case of quiet moments, or if you know a kid who needs regular fascinating distractions.

I know it’s early to think about this, but drop this in every Christmas stocking and you’ll have a festive period peppered with someone launching conversations with, “did you know Mount Etna is slowly sliding downhill towards the sea?”
I did not know that, but I do now!

Brain Fizzzing Facts by Dr Emily Grossman, illustrated by Alice Bowsher is published by Bloomsbury Children's Books.

Reviewed by Dawn Finch, author and children’s librarian.



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