Bonkers Books, £6.99, ISBN 978-1-407115-98-6
General Trivia, 2011
At first glance at the cover, I have no clue what How to Make Stonehenge Out of Biscuits is about. Well, now I know: it’s a trivia book, aimed at kids, in which the author presents an interesting trivia related to every day of the year. Wherever possible, there is a small puzzle related to the trivia. For example, August 19 is the anniversary of mathematician Blaine Pascal’s death, so in addition to some trivia about his contribution, the author includes a puzzle related to Pascal’s triangle. The trivia here falls under, generally, two wide categories: today in history and interesting celebrations around the world. These categories cover various subjects from all types of science to a variety of anthropological matters.
Unlike most trivia books which cover the same grounds again and again – who has the biggest salami, what is the tallest mountain, et cetera – the trivia here has new stuff that make me go, “Hmm, never knew that – interesting!” 14 September, for example, is “Nutting Day” in some places which experience autumn, and… oh please, get your mind out of the gutter. This is a children’s book, after all! World Zombie Day is on 7 October, and there’s a Slug Festival in Eatonville, Washington on 11 July. And when there’s really nothing of significance on a particular date, author Tracey Turner fills in the blank with some fun stuff. 17 July is… uh, whatever, let’s make a strawberry slushy – here’s an easy-to-follow recipe!
How to Make Stonehenge Out of Biscuits is a really nice way to kill time, and I get to learn some new things too, isn’t that nice. The design and layout are both fun, making this small book an adorable “every day’s a party” kind of thing. It’s a bit silly, perhaps, but I do appreciate being reminded once in a while that there are still many fascinating things to learn and experience – at least, vicariously – even at this day and age.