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Never Mind Being Dangerous- Make Some Really Cool Stuff!

Monday, Nov 12, 2007 at 5:31pm

There's been a lot of well-deserved hype around The Dangerous Book for Boys, and subsequently The Daring Book for Girls.

Another book that might fall just beneath the radar deserves a good look. Howtoons, published by the creators of the magazines Make and Craft, teaches kids how to make their own cool toys. Using a graphic novel format, the book follows the exploits of Tucker and Celine, a brother and sister pair who decide to make their own fun.

With fifteen projects and explanations of various tools (including how and when to use them), a lovely narrative weaves them all together, encouraging kids to come up with their own projects. In much the same way as a number of basic folds form the basis for hundreds of origami sculptures, the fifteen projects followed here are clearly intended as the building blocks to further exploration.

I particularly like the way the authors have shown the process by which Tucker and Celine arrive at the final version of their projects. At one point, one of the projects doesn't quite work out for them, but rather than give up, the siblings puzzle through what went wrong and how to fix it.

Howtoons has a companion website where you can find a couple of the projects from the book and a few others. I highly recommend it. I know that my eight-year-old daughter and me will be building a few things from it (even if I have to insist on not using the marshmallow shooter in the house).

I should also mention that both Make (which features one howtoon per issue) and Craft are both excellent adult-oriented magazines in the DIY spirit, and I'm pleased to say that they are two of the magazine titles that we have re-priced at par (with the US dollar) in our stores.

Categories: Reviews, Staff Pick, Fun, websites, New Releases

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Dangerous Book For Boys

- Iggulden & Iggulden, Hal Iggulden

Hardcover $29.95 - Add to Cart
Reader Reward Price: $26.96

How many other books will help you thrash someone at conkers, race your own go-cart, and identify the best quotations from Shakespeare?

The Dangerous Book for Boys gives you facts and figures at your fingertips - swot up on the solar system, learn about famous battles and read inspiring stories of incredible courage and bravery. Teach your old dog new tricks. Make a pinhole camera. Understand the laws of cricket. There´s a whole world out there: with this book, anyone can get out and explore it.

The Dangerous Book for Boys is written with the verve and passion that readers of Conn Iggulden´s number one bestselling novels have come to expect. This book, his first non-fiction work, has been written with his brother as a celebration of the long summers of their youth and as a compendium of information so vital to men of all ages. Lavishly designed and fully illustrated in colour and black and white throughout, it´s set to be a perfect gift for Father´s Day and beyond.

Chapters in The Dangerous Book for Boys include: The Seven Ancient Wonders of the World, Conkers, Laws of Football, Dinosaurs, Fishing, Juggling, Timers and Tripwires, Kings and Queens, Famous Battles, Spies, Making Crystals, Insects and Spiders, Astronomy, Girls, The Golden Age of Piracy, Secret Inks, Patron Saints of Britain, Skimming Stones, Dog Tricks, Making a Periscope, Coin Tricks, Marbles, Artillery, The Origin of Words and The Solar System.