Don't Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

Don't Touch That Toad and Other Strange Things Adults Tell You

by Catherine Rondina, Kevin Sylvester
     
 

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True or false: ?Eating too much sugar will make you hyper.? How about, ?If you go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold.? Or, ?A mother bird will reject her babies if they have been touched by humans.? Each of these ?facts? that we've all heard before are actually false, and the real story behind each one is clearly told here in this intriguing and unique

Overview

True or false: ?Eating too much sugar will make you hyper.? How about, ?If you go outside with wet hair, you'll catch a cold.? Or, ?A mother bird will reject her babies if they have been touched by humans.? Each of these ?facts? that we've all heard before are actually false, and the real story behind each one is clearly told here in this intriguing and unique book. Poking mild fun at grown-ups throughout, author Catherine Rondina covers a range of warnings, advice and truisms children will be familiar with, and bases all of her judgments on hard science and research.

In order for kids to be able to test themselves without peeking, each ?fact? is described on the right-facing page, and a page turn reveals the true or false verdict, along with a full explanation. Humorous black-and-white line drawings by Kevin Sylvester liven up the text. The children who love these kinds of juicy compendiums of information may choose to read this one straight through. Teachers will want to keep it handy on a nearby shelf to refer to in many types of science lessons. It also works for exploring the importance of critical thinking and research in order to understand the difference between what seems true and what is true. The ?Parentisms: An Overview? at the back of the book offers a list of favorite parental expressions, which could be used for language arts writing assignments or other creative expressions.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dianne Ochiltree
Here's a book that will appeal to kids—and many adults—who have ever had anyone tell them "If you sit too close to the TV, you'll ruin your eyes!" or any of the many other strange cautionary pronouncements adults like to spout. In lighthearted prose, author Rondina tackles a passel of these weird sayings that we've all heard, one time or another, from our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even teachers. Although the presentation is funny, the explanations as to whether each saying is true or false are very thorough and based on scientific fact. The fact-versus-fiction entries break down these sayings into four broad categories: healthy habits, weird science, food fallacies, and animal tales. We learn, for example, that swallowed bubble gum does NOT take seven years to digest...but that you CAN get "worms" (or salmonella) from eating raw cookie dough. My personal favorite was the entry explaining "a chicken can live without its head," but I won't ruin the surprise by telling you whether that one was true or false! Sylvester's hilarious black-and-white spot illustrations enliven each page. The book ends with a section compiling those all-time favorite and popular "parentisms," such as "When I was your age, I had to walk ten miles through the snow to get to school." This title is a good choice for kids (particularly boys) who like to read in small bites, as well those who love gross-out humor. Now, who says nonfiction can't be fun? Reviewer: Dianne Ochiltree
Kirkus Reviews
Gleefully providing ammunition for snarky readers eager to second-guess misguided beliefs and commands of grown-ups, Rondina dishes up the straight poop on dozens of topics from the cleanliness of a dog's mouth and the relationship (none) between French fries and acne to whether an earwig could really crawl into your ear and eat your brains. Since she cites no readily checkable sources—support for assertions comes in the form of quotations from experts in various fields, but there is no bibliography—it's hard to tell how accurate some of her claims are—it would be nice to have a citation to the JAMA studies that debunk the sugar-hyperactivity connection, for instance—and too often she provides only an unsatisfying "You Decide" instead of a clear "True" or "False." Still, it all makes painless reading equally suitable for casual dipping or reading straight through, and Sylvester's pen-and-ink spot art adds further light notes to every page. An extensive closing catalog of familiar "Parentisms"—"I'm not running a taxi service," "Because I said so, that's why," etc.—adds a chuckle-inducing lagniappe. (Informational ephemera. 9-11)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554534548
Publisher:
Kids Can Press, Limited
Publication date:
08/01/2010
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
1100L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

Meet the Author

Kevin Sylvester is a journalist who happened to fall into sports rather than a 'sports guy.' He's also a documentary-maker, writer, producer, and sketch artist. Kevin is well known as the host of CBC National Radio Morning Sports. His first book was Sports Hall of Weird (2005).

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