I needed a gift for my nephew whose at that tween stage that can be difficult to buy for. He absolutely loved it- he dived into the book right a way & started reciting facts. I knew when I saw the book it was perfect for him & it had tons of colored pictures. The only drawl back to this book is the order in which the facts are presented- they are all random, there is no glossary, and no natural order. It actually drove me & all of the adults kinda crazy. There is no way to look up something specific without going through every page- and there are a ton of pages, but perhaps this is a generational thing, because my nephew didn't seem to mind in the least.
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Each year, I eagerly await the arrival of the updated "Guinness World Records." Indeed, it seems to get a bit wilder each year, as new (and sometimes wacky) records are reported. The rules as to what qualifies as a record are laid out (as they are each year). The fun begins even just by randomly leafing through pages (my favorite way of perusing these volumes).
The first page begins with "Firsts," such as the first cloned animal (Remember her name? Dolly!); the first in-flight movie (in 1925); the first e-mail; and so on. Some random entries. . . Pages 36-37: the most productive copper mine; the highest active volcano; the longest column of ants (a 328 foot long procession of army ants); the narrowest country. Pages 52-53: the newest Iguana; the most endangered reptile; the largest snake of all time.
But it's really the human achievements, I think, that intrigue most people. Among these (pages 76 and following): the farthest washing machine throw by an individual (a hair over 11 feet); heaviest vehicle pulled by hair (count me out in trying to match this feat!); longest waterfall descent in a canoe; greatest distance covered in a pedal-powered boat; circumnavigation of the globe on a bicycle).
The volume is organized by a number of overarching categories--Space, Planet Earth, Animal Planet, The Body, Human Achievements, Travelers' Tales, Gazetteer, Modern World, Engineering & Technology, Art & Media, and Sports.
A couple examples from a few of these categories to add some flavor. Engineering & Technology: tallest structure, first manned hydrogen-powered aircraft, largest machine ever built, highest capacity chicken manure station (on page 185; this isn't a joke!). Art & Media: fastest-selling download single; most effects shots in a movie; first film with digital water ("Antz"). Sports: Highest pole vault (female), most beach handball championships (female), most centuries in a test series (cricket; I'm clueless), fastest shot in NHL history (hockey), fastest 100 meter dash (male), and so on.
So, the preceding examples give a sense of the book for those who have never looked at it. For those who have? You'll know what you're getting. This won't be for everyone, but for those who like real records and quirky records alike, this is hours of amusement (and amazement).
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My granddaughter (11 years) just loves these books filled with amazing facts. Reading these books exposes her to all different cultures and places. We read it armed with a globe of the world and a laptop nearby to look up additional information if so desired. She brings them in the car with her on long rides and they entertain her and her brother. Can't beat that.
Cheap and shipped fast. Was used condition but you couldn't tell. Great illustrations and a classic for people of any age really. Some of the stuff in there is ridiculous but it's always fun to look at.
I bought this book for my second graders to read on Fun Fridays. They were fighting over the 2009 Guineness book, so I added '10 to our library! Now they fight over both books, so we have to have a sign up. The pictures are incredible. There's something for everyone in this book.