Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare

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Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare

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Category: Popular Science
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: Another welcome offering from New Scientist's Last Word column. The addition of full colour photographs brings a new dimension to proceedings, but often feels like it's been used because it can be, rather than because it should be.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 224 Date: October 2011
Publisher: Profile Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1846685071

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Another year has passed, and once again we're treated to another offering from New Scientist's Last Word column. We've been here before, with Penguins, Polar Bears, Tornadoes, Elephants and Hamsters. Now it's time for the orangutan to find out why he's orange.

The simple question and answer format - with answers provided by the well-informed and well-educated readers - continues to work strongly. The subject matter is mostly wisely chosen, providing a broad range of information - some quirky, some intriguing, and all edifying. Mick O'Hare's editing is as smart as ever, and contributes strongly to a slick and enjoyable read. (If you've not already read it, take a look at our interview with Mick from last year).

For the first time, this book series offers up full colour photographs to illustrate its points, and open up the available range of questions even further. At times, it feels as if some questions were chosen because they could be illustrated, rather than adding an illustration to support the best possible question. However, it's a positive addition overall, and should make for an improved read in next year's offering, when some of the novelty has worn off.

If you've religiously (umm... scientifically?) devoured all the previous books in the series, then Why Are Orangutans Orange? will have a welcome place on your bookshelf. More casual readers may find it moves towards being a book to buy for others. As always, it makes a great Christmas present for the semi-close adult male friend or relative who is so awkward to buy for. It's certainly worth a look.

Farmer Buckley's Exploding Trousers by Stephanie Pain also has its roots in New Scientist, and is an enjoyable popular science read. The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean is a wonderful read, about the elements of the periodic table, and is full to the brim of fascinating information.

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Buy Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Why Are Orangutans Orange? by Mick O'Hare at Amazon.com.

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