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Saturday, August 16, 2014

This Or That, written by Crispin Boyer. National Geographic Kids, Random House. 2014. $14.99 ages 8 and up

"Choose THIS:
Swim in a crystal-clear sea
without fear of encountering
scary fish.


Choose THAT:
Swim in a crystal-clear sea
surrounded by fish and
other creatures.

The subtitle reads: 'The Wacky Book of Choices to Reveal the Hidden You.' What fun to share with friends and family. The table of contents offers the following chapters: Power Up!, Good to Go, Help Wanted, Gross Anatomy, Misadventures, Friend Zone, Mad Science, Offbeat Feats, Absurd Situations. I'm not positive; I am going to guess that the first chapter checked out by kids would be Gross Anatomy! Which would you choose?

Flipping to page 64, the chapter choices in question 'offer a different sort of makeover.' The first question wonders if you would choose a prehensile tail, or a prehensile tongue? It also suggests some issues to consider before making your choice. Turn the page and the results of your choice are shared:

If you choose the tail:

"Give yourself a hand. No, really - give yourself an extra hand. A prehensile tail is like a bonus arm on your backside, able to clutch branches and grab goodies."

If you choose the tongue:

"A prehensile tongue comes in handy. Just ask a GIRAFFE! These long-necked lickers wield their 18-inch (46 cm) tongues to strip seriously prickly plants. Africa's acacia trees sprout 3-inch (8 cm)spikes as a defense against grazing animals, but a giraffe's tongue is nimble enough to navigate the thorns and grab the leaves."

So, it's up to you!

The format remains the same throughout. The first page asks the question and encourages musing on it before any decision is made, the second page offers the benefits of each and an interesting fact box about a related item.

It's great fun, and would be a blast to share in those first days of school when students are getting to know one another.

Would you choose to wake up 60 years in the future, or 25 years in the past? Food for thought...

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