Review Blog

Nov 05 2019

The Australia survival guide by George Ivanoff

cover image

Puffin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143796572.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. What an entertaining, clever and informative book this is! I picked it up as a possible present to give my grandchildren from London when they visit and quickly became engrossed in the descriptions of all the dangerous things that can be found in Australia and how you can survive them. The way the book is set out is sure to grab the attention of both children and adults as they learn about deadly things on the land (spiders, snakes, mosquitoes); in the water (sharks, crocodiles, jelly fish); in the environment (thirst, deadly vegetation) and finally everything else. Each section has a description of the deadly things, facts and first aid, photographs and a news story about survival. I was particularly taken with chapter 5, 'Cute but dangerous animals' (1. Kangaroo 2. Tasmanian devil 3. Platypus 4. Wombat) and loved the section on the wombat with a picture of its cube poo and a description of an attack on a woman by a wombat.
Kids will enjoy the avatar that guides them through the book and will love the humour of the sections like 'Totally fake death' where they can learn about mythical animals like the bunyip and the Hawkesbury River Monster. This is a book that would be a boon to take on a family holiday because it would provide kids with hours of interesting reading that could be shared with the whole family. At the same time the content is informative and well described, with the first aid sections and instructions being particularly clear and concise should any of the deadly creatures and events be encountered.
This is a keeper, useful for not only travellers and holiday makers, but all libraries.
Pat Pledger

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