The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner

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The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner

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Category: Trivia
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath
Reviewed by Keith Dudhnath
Summary: A pleasant book of quirky trivia aimed at a young audience. Some of the stories feel a little light, but there's still plenty to dip into and enjoy.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 160 Date: October 2008
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0340970553

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Ah, we've all made excuses at one time or another. We've all done things we shouldn't have done, then when caught out given a reason for it. Perhaps we've even given excuses as stylish as Zambian tennis player Lighton Ndefwayl, who said of his opponent: "[He] is a stupid man and a hopeless player. He has a huge nose and is cross-eyed. Girls hate him. He beat me because my jockstrap was too tight and because when he serves he farts, and that made me lose my concentration, for which I am famous throughout Zambia." Tracey Tuner has collated some of the best excuses ever given into a handy collection.

I've always enjoyed trivia books like this. They're light, fun reading, and there's always plenty you want to show or tell someone. The Book of Big Excuses continues the tradition. Some of the stories are old favourites, like Dan Quayle's 'potatoe', and Manchester Utd's grey away kit. There are many less familiar examples though, such as the Swiss man who felt it was safe to speed in his car in Canada because there was less chance of hitting a goat. There's plenty of quirky silliness to keep you coming back for more.

The Book of Big Excuses is more for dipping into, rather than reading from cover to cover. It's interesting and enjoyable, but there are just a few too many stories that aren't very specific. I'm sure there are many people who are late for work after the clocks go forward, and even some who are late three years in a row, but if you just say "An office worker", rather than saying where they're from or who they work for, it feels more like gossip than an interesting fact. Only a small proportion of stories are like this, but there are enough of them to be noticeable.

Simple and clear illustrations are woven into the work throughout, and there are plenty of lists, such as the Top Ten Most Common Dating Excuses. They serve to break up the text and keep it interesting throughout, making this an excellent book for reluctant readers to dabble in.

My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.

Ouch! by Georgina Phillips and Why is Snot Green? by Glenn Murphy are both perfectly pitched at their young audiences

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Buy The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Book of Big Excuses by Tracey Turner at


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