From School Library Journal
Gr 3-7–Full of eye-popping, fact-filled oddities, Ripley's encyclopedic compendium is fun for kids of all ages. The various categories include “Extreme Sports,” “Bizarre Mysteries,” “Body Oddity,” “Fantastic Food,” and “Amazing Science.” Within the pages, readers will discover strange but true stories and facts including a real-life Spiderman, a tree that paints pictures, and a chandelier made entirely out of gummi bears. Full-color spreads provide insight into the strange occurrences and stories found around the world. Miscellaneous lists are scattered throughout, and multiple images hold readers' attention. A dramatic double foldout section of the disreputable world of vampires and two single foldouts that feature a time line of Coney Island's sideshows and a tribute to the world's smallest teenager in an actual-size photograph will spark the interest of those who are skeptics. Other highlights include “Ripley's Research,” which provides historical facts, and “Ripley's Revealed,” which offers a behind-the-scenes look at bizarre subject content. While secretly learning, readers will continuously browse the fun-filled pages and most definitely share their interesting discoveries with others. An entertaining addition to most collections.–Krista Welz, North Bergen Public Library, NJ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Robert Ripley is certainly making a comeback. Earlier this year, a new fiction adventure series was released set at Ripley High, in Robert Ripley’s former home, and now there’s a brand-new Ripley’s Believe It or Not! title. The hologram of a frightened kid on the front cover will surely draw in readers who might not be familiar with the concept; once there, they will be mesmerized by all the bizarre information inside. Although billed as all new, right off the bat there are some old favorites, like Chang and Eng, the original Siamese twins, as well as other photos from previous eras. That said, this oversize, hefty volume is so crammed full of human and animal oddities, supernatural sensations, incredible feats, and other general weirdness that it’s sure to have kids saying Gross! for a long, long time. Occasional Ripley’s Research boxes help explain the science, and an index allows readers easy access to their favorite tidbits. Plus it’s all in full color. Grades 5-7. --Ilene Cooper