Reviews for Boys' Book : How to Be the Best at Everything


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Spring
Transparent knockoffs of The Dangerous Book for Boys, these are jokier and more kid-friendly, though completely ephemeral and limited to instructions for activities. Each makes vague gestures toward gender exclusivity: Boys' includes "How to Lasso Like a Cowboy" and Girls', "How to Make Your Own Luxury Bubble Bath." But who doesn't wish he, or she, knew "How to Hoot with Your Hands"? Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2007 #5
The "dangerousness" of the bestselling book by the Iggulden brothers is pretty much limited to a single chapter on rabbit-hunting. Otherwise, the book is given over to an entirely conventional compendium of putatively boy-friendly activities ("Making a Battery"; "How to Play Poker"), topics ("Famous Battles"; "U.S. Naval Flag Codes"), and advice for clean living ("Girls"; "The Ten Commandments"). Designed to look like something left behind by your grandfather at the family camp in Bar Harbor, the book is too synthetically nostalgic about boyhood to make much of a connection with real boys; the prose is generally stolid and occasionally twee: "Excitable bouts of windbreaking will not endear you to a girl"). The first-aid advice is dicey, and there's no index, but browsers might enjoy the serendipitous discovery of instructions in wrapping a package with paper and string, or using a wristwatch as a compass (if, that is, you're a boy who wears a wristwatch, and one with a dial to boot). Transparent knockoffs of The Dangerous Book, The Girls' Book and The Boys' Book are much jokier and more kid-friendly, though completely ephemeral and limited to instructions for activities. Each makes vague gestures toward gender exclusivity: Boys' includes "How to Lasso Like a Cowboy" and "How to Prove You're Not Bigheaded; Girls', "How to Make Your Own Luxury Bubble Bath" and "How to Do Finger Knitting." But come on: who doesn't wish he, or she, knew "How to Hoot with Your Hands"? Copyright 2007 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2007 July #2
Riding along in the slipstream of Conn and Hal Iggulden's The Dangerous Book for Boys (May 2007) comes this similar gathering of advice and activities--revised and expanded from a British handbook (2004) and aimed at a somewhat younger (or less capable) audience. Entries vary randomly in direct usefulness from step-by-step directions for three knots (plus tying a necktie) to living on the Space Station, and in hazard level from techniques for annoying siblings to surviving attacks from bears and crocodiles. The occasional small line drawings are usually helpful, or at least decorative. Though better suited for casual browsing than serious instruction, this will be worth picking up for all those lads (or lasses, though there is a companion volume for girls) eager to learn how to, for instance, throw a lasso, make a balloon dog or hypnotize a chicken. (Nonfiction. 9-11) Copyright Kirkus 2007 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 September

Gr 4-7-- Both of these titles are filled with fun tidbits and suggestions for "beating the rest" at myriad interesting things. They are certain to be popular with readers who have plenty of free time and an adventurous spirit. Examples of more than 150 combined skills ranging from benign (making bubble bath) to outrageous (ripping a phone book in half) to outrageously exaggerated (how to survive in outer space/how to cope if zombies attack). The titles open with disclaimers disavowing any responsibility for accidents or injuries incurred from acting on the information contained within--these texts must be used with heavy doses of common sense. The boys' text contains the more outlandish tips--"Fight off a crocodile." "Escape quicksand." In Girls , the suggestions are more sedentary: "Give yourself a perfect manicure." "Knit with your fingers." "Grow a crystal." But if taken in the spirit of fun, many readers will enjoy the experiences while those with an underdeveloped sense of irony might be better off skipping certain entries.--Elaine Baran Black, Georgia Public Library Service, Atlanta

[Page 216]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

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VOYA Reviews 2007 October
Hodgepodge is the word for these two collections of such disparate subjects as "How to Tell When Someone Is Lying," "How to Whistle Really Loudly," and "How to Take the Best Photos." More than ninety topics are covered, ranging from a quarter to a full page in length. Although divided by interest to girls and boys-one book for each-most activities would profit anyone curious about them. Just enough information is provided to get readers started on the projects, a jumping-off point for searching out more details. There is no topical arrangement. Crafts, safety, sports, manners, and just-for-fun ideas are all thrown together. Cartoonish pencil illustrations accompany some topics to clarify directions.These books could be useful for program ideas for librarians, teachers, and others working with middle and high schoolers, who might then award participants with "Best at . . ." certificates. The covers feature retro art, which does nothing to attract readers. Although the activities inside are current, those who judge by the cover alone would think that the books are leftovers from the 1950s. They are likeable browsers or gift books but not must-buys.-Pam Carlson Illus. Copyright 2007 Voya Reviews.

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