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Just Plain Wrong
on August 13, 2009
If you want to introduce your children to the world of brain teasers, puzzles, and riddles, this just might be the worst book you could give to them. It is chock full of wrong answers, ambiguous questions, factual errors, and logical fallacies. There are "brain teasers" that no one could possibly answer "correctly." There are questions whose premises make no sense whatsoever.
After we kept running across wrong answers, I confiscated this book from my son. I imagine most parents buy this for their children without reading it themselves. Let me save you the trouble. I read through 117 pages of this book and found 68 questions with errors (wrong facts, unworkable puzzles, etc.) Here are a few choice examples:
"Once upon a time, a little girl dressed in blue went to her grandmother's Swiss cottage. Why?" Answer: "She was hungry for some cheese."
"When Mini's family pulled up at the motel, Mini, her parents, and 12 brothers and sisters poured out of the car. How could that happen?" Answer: "Mini and her family are mice." Mice, of course, that drive. There couldn't be any other explanation, right?
"When Maddy started school, she was 5 years old. Now that she is in third grade, she is only 6. How can that be? Hint: Maddy's birthday is in February." Answer: "Maddy's birthday is on February 29th." Never mind the distinction between "having your 5th birthday" and "being 5 years old" -- by the premise of the question, Maddy would be 20 years old when she entered Kindergarten.
"It's Norma's 12th birthday. This year, her family gave her a boom box. If every year before were the same, how many does she have?" Answer: "One -- every year is not the same!" Have you heard of the subjunctive, Ms. Wagner? Do you know what an "If-Then" statement is? Do I want to throw your book out the window?
This book will make you stupid.