Copernicus! What Have You Done?: ...and Other Interesting Questions by Don Behrend
|Copernicus! What Have You Done?: ...and Other Interesting Questions by Don Behrend|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Delightful mix of light verse and cartoon based on fabulous figures from history. One to make you smile so much that you'll return to it again and again.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 120||Date: August 2019|
Hello! Would this review be okay if I simply said I LOVED THIS GLORIOUS LITTLE BOOK AND SO WILL YOU. FIN?! Because I did. And you will.
But I suppose you will be requiring more than that, so here goes...Copernicus! What Have You Done? takes famous figures from history and celebrates their notoriety and achievements with a short stanza in humorous light verse and a delightful little cartoon. There are scientists, writers, explorers, composers, painters, even mathematicians. The whole thing is utterly captivating.
For a flavour, here is the entry for Charles Darwin:
Darwin’s Origin of Species:,
One of mankind’s greatest theses,
Upset monkeys by the dozens,
Treating them as people’s cousins.
It's accompanied by a cartoon of some very cross primates pointing at Darwin, which I loved!
And then there's Dickens, explained via Bleak House:
The story starts simply, but soon the plot thickens.
A man catches fire; the heroine sickens
The closer the climax, the more the pace quickens,
Till all is resolved. That’s what happens in Dickens.
I don't know about you, but I think that's as good a precis of Dickens as it gets.
And I found a lot of commonality with Mrs Noah in the bible stories section:
Mrs Noah said: “Dear, would you mind?
We’ve been told to take two of each kind;
But these spiders and snakes
Really give me the shakes.
Don’t you think we could leave them behind?”
We arachnophobes should stick together!
These are just some of my favourites but there are dozens to enjoy. We've written approvingly before of Don Behrend's doughty defence of light verse and this next volume continues it in great vein. Each of the little stanzas are lighthearted and humorous but also capture the flavour of its subject perfectly. And the gentle rhythms and rhymes are instantly accessible and memorable. Paul Lennon's illustrations are full of life and energy and make perfect companions to the spirit and content of the verses. Copernicus! What Have You Done? will be enjoyed by all the family, both old and young. I think an underlying theme in light verse is the way it brings different people together in enjoyment and Behrend follows enthusiastically in this fine tradition.
If you enjoy your trivia when it comes with some humour attached, you could also look at 42 - Douglas Adams' Amazingly Accurate Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything by Peter Gill.
You can read more book reviews or buy Copernicus! What Have You Done?: ...and Other Interesting Questions by Don Behrend at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Copernicus! What Have You Done?: ...and Other Interesting Questions by Don Behrend at Amazon.com.
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