Book Review – ‘The Curious Guide to Things That Aren’t ‘ by John D. Fixx and James F. Fixx, illustrated by Abby Carter. Published 2016 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.
A title caught my eye while browsing in Embiggen Books on Little Lonsdale St (that’s Melbourne Australia for you out-of-towners). At the time I had a reluctant early reader at home. School journals with themes of ‘Playing Soccer’ or ‘Granny’s Lost Underpants’ were a struggle to read start to finish. “This is boring!” was the general response during that precious half hour of mother and son reader time. This book appeared to unlock the mystery of getting junior reader age seven to turn the page and enjoy the ride. Inside this simply covered book is far from ‘black and white’ subject matter all about curious tales of the things in life that need a little bit of explaining. Written in 26 parts for each letter of the alphabet, the reader gets to do the fun stuff of guessing the answer to what ‘thing’ the narrator is talking about. Each line of text hooks the reluctant reader into continuing on to the next line.
Things you can’t always touch, see, or hear – can you guess what they ARE?
This starts with the letter ‘A’, It doesn’t weigh anything. You can’t see it, but sometimes it has a smell. Animals walking on the ground, birds flying high, and some musical instruments use it. Everything living thing on Earth needs it. It is all around you – except under water. You prefer it fresh and you breathe it in. What is it?
It begins with ‘A’ for … I don’t want to spoil it! It’s fun for parent and child to read together or take turns reading and guessing what the object or action might be. The book is peppered with quirky line drawings by Abby Carter which hint at the answers.
A clever book for the thinking child written in Grade 1-2 vocabulary.