Ripley's Believe It or Not! 2014 by Robert Leroy Ripley

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Ripley's Believe It or Not! 2014 by Robert Leroy Ripley

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Category: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Margaret Young
Reviewed by Margaret Young
Summary: Ewww - this is sick, it's disgusting, come quick you have to see it. This statement from my son pretty well sums up this book. It is disgusting, unbelievable, and you just have to see it. And if that isn't enough to sending you rushing to the bookstores it also has embedded technology to allow you to bring the pages to life with an app and a mobile device.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 256 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Random House Books
ISBN: 978-1847947161

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I don't normally do annuals. I'm afraid too many of the silly cartoon variety put me off the genre, but this is something completely different. It seems a shame to even call it an annual. Instead I would call this an interactive encyclopaedia of the bizarre, unusual, twisted and absolutely delightful facts that challenge you to Believe it or not!

We normally go thorough books at breakneck speed, but this book has taken us several days to work our way though and we still have so much more to discover. I've seen my sons clear video games in less time than they have spent on this book. I was so impressed, I have already ordered last year's edition. Some of the facts are so difficult to believe, we just have to find out more, and this book has led us on many a happy wild Google chase as we call it, where we look up one fact which leads to looking up another related fact and can take hours to complete. But you don't have to go onto Google to see more of many of the subjects in this book. This year's edition comes with a feature called Oddscan. You simply download a free app on Google play, and hold your phone or other mobile device over the pages with the Oddscan logo. Press scan and a video related to the page will immediately appear. This adds a completely new dimension to reading a book. The app was very easy to download. It did take a few minutes to set up, but once up and running even my five year old can use it with ease, in fact that is exactly what he is doing now. The children absolutely love this interactive feature. It has made this into a cross between a book and a video game.

I loved this book because it really gets children excited about reading. This is the type of book they run out show their friends, family etc.... I also loved the fact that it got them interested in so many other subjects. Since reading this we have done in depth studies on genetics and mutations, spiders, fire tornados, jellyfish, unusual fish and rocket cars. Because the children were studying subjects they wanted to learn about, I feel they learned more and will retain more of what they learned. I think this book suits a very wide age range. My sons, ages 5 and 8, both loved this book. I found some parts fascinating myself, especially photos of a landscape completely covered in spider webs. I even found my husband looking through it, and seeing him with a book is very rare occurrence indeed. This book is ideal for boys, even those who might not otherwise be interested in books, and for children who love gross and disgusting sights. I would warn that this book is not for the squeamish. A few scenes might upset very sensitive children, such as pictures of mummified corpses dressed up in new clothes and paraded about town, or a pet cat that had died in a road accident being made into a remote controlled flying kitty.

I'll let my oldest son give his own opinion about why he thinks this book is so great:

'Billy's opinion:

I loved this book when we first got it. It is huge and there are so many really cool facts to read about, and the photos are unbelievable. I thought at first some might be tricks. But then we got the app for this book and I thought it was amazing! My brother and I have spent hours playing it and we still have not cleared it, but we do keep watching some of the same clips over and over. Our favourites are the dog driving the car and the life sized Hotwheels track with real cars. The app is the best of all. I wish they would put apps like this on more books.

For more books like this we can recommend:

Ripley's Believe It or Not 2013 by Robert Leroy Ripley

Discover the Extreme World by Camilla de la Bedoyere, Clive Gifford, John Farndon, Steve Parker, Stewart Ross and Philip Steele

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The Ripley Publishing Team said:

Hi there, we just wanted to make a comment, or get a message to the author of the above review please?

We loved reading your fantastic review of Ripley's Believe It or Not! Dare To Look, and wanted to say a massive thank you from everyone at the Ripley Publishing office. We spend a long time putting the book together, so it is great when someone appreciates all our efforts! We hope you continue to enjoy reading.

Thanks a lot

The Ripley Publishing Team