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‘Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses’ a treat for tweens and teens

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Sight, sound, smell, taste, touch are your five senses and the writers of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses” really do what they promise here.

Find out why people eat the witchetty grub (yum?). Read about the Canadian man who’s traveled to more than 50 countries just to dine at McDonald’s. Or shiver at the article about blood-eating bats.

Get a whiff of this: in Guangdong Province, China, the villagers sell bags of air to tourists. Plus, would you wear urine-powered socks? Or imagine standing next to this: on July 5 of last year, it got so hot in New York that a pile of horse manure spontaneously caught on fire.

Stick your fingers inside this book and see double-sided cowboy boots and a repurposed statue. Take a look at a touching photo of a chicken and his monkey friend. Think about more than a dozen scorpions sitting on your arms. And if you had “an extremely rare skin disorder” like the Bangladeshi man in this book, you’d be happy to be able to touch anything!

Feast your eyes on flowers that appear to be animals. See spiders at war — if you dare! Peep amazing undersea patterns that male pufferfish make to lure the ladies. Get a load of the pink hippo, and read about the giant hamster you can actually ride.

Can emojis become songs? If Sir Paul McCartney gets ahold of them — yes! Find out what deadly coincidence befell the rock group Jefferson Airplane. Then check out The Isolator, a sensory-deprivation device invented in the 1920s.

Five minutes. That’s all the time your teen has between school, homework, friends, sports, band practice, and the 1,000 other things going on in his life. And yet — he still has time to read, especially if he’s got this book.

The Ripley’s you loved in your childhood has been reimagined and updated for an all-new audience: there are more pictures in today’s books, and fewer cartoons. The feats and weirdness are more modern and less historic. Without a lot of “interactive” clutter, this book is easier to use, too, because it doesn’t require anything but intrigue, curiosity, and, sometimes, a strong stomach.

What more could a young reader want? Um, maybe something to share, because you can enjoy this book right along with your 12 to 18 year old. You’ll both eat it up. Its trippy cover is one you’ll want to touch. Yeah, “Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses!” looks good.

“Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Shatter Your Senses,” by Ripley’s folks [256 pages, 2017, $28.95].

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old. She lives on a hill with two dogs and 12,000 books.

Posted 12:00 am, November 28, 2017
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