From School Library Journal
Grade 4–9—This entertaining look at oddities, mysteries, and unexplained phenomena successfully adapts the innovative format first seen in Pick Me U
p (DK, 2006). Nearly 100 topics are covered, mostly on spreads, each with a unique look. "Who Are the Men in Black?" uses a captioned street map to present facts and theories (Nazca Lines, Bermuda Triangle, Atlantis), for example, while cases of "Spontaneous Combustion" appear on illustrations of burning paper. Occasional foldouts, liftable flaps, and vertical page turns add more variety. Beyond the strong visual appeal, many layouts convey information effectively, such as the color-coded flow chart that tracks the mysterious disappearance of "Lord Lucan." Individual entries can stand alone, but cross-references at the bottom of the page encourage jumps to related topics in a manner that simulates Web page links. "Hidden Gold," for instance, can lead to "Paris Underground," "Kremlin," and further exploration. With rare exceptions, cross-reference series are not circular, so starting at a random page sets off a long series of intriguing leaps. The index provides access to specific topics, though broader subjects applying to several entries, such as "crime" or "spying," do not appear. Most libraries will discard the clever cardboard packaging that simulates a silver jail cell, but the overflowing collage of images on the regular cover works fine. The exciting design, cleverly organized information, and perennial kid-appeal of the topics should make this a popular title, and it may easily lead readers to pursue other books on topics that catch their interest.—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR
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". . . a colorful book filled with unexplained mysteries, bizarre anecdotes through the ages, great escapes, codes, optical illusions, hoaxes, and explanations of secret systems and complexes." -- Boingboing.net
<br /><br />"Do Not Open comes peeking out from between the bars of its own little prison door and will. . . make children immediately ignore the warning of its title. . . This is a good bet for pre-(and full) teens." -- The Wall Street Journal, December 2007
<br /><br />Awarded by the Voice of Youth Advocates organization --VOYA Nonfiction Honor List, 2008