By: Bill Mclain
Publisher: Castle Books
Publication Date: September 2009
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: September 1, 2010
While this book was sitting on my desk, three people walked by and said, “oh, I know why flamingos are pink! It’s because…” and they were right. In fact, I suspect there are many people who know why flamingos are pink (if you don’t, check out their diet). But there are so many facts, tidbits, and just plain interesting “factoids” in this book, that I’m sure you’ll learn something.
Thre are 16 chapters in What Makes Flamingos Pink? with a wide range of topics such as the animal kingdom, crime, food, customs, disasters, science and entertainment. Each chapter asks, and answers, six questions (chapter one on the animal kingdom has seven questions). Each question is asked in bold and followed by several paragraphs giving a fairly detailed answer. After the answer, there are “Factoids” – one or two line facts about related topics, and “Did You Know?” which includes further information on the topic at hand. Finally, at the end of each chapter, we’re given, “More Questions? Try these web sites” with links to various sites and a little bit of information on each.
The questions asked in this book are quite varied. You’ll discover why there’s a crescent moon on outhouse doors, if spiders sleep, why we have eyebrows, and why televison sets don’t have a channel 1. While the questions are rather random, that’s part of what makes this book so much fun. I’d look in the table of contents to find one thing, and wind up flipping all over the place, curious about this and that. What a fun way to spend the afternoon!
Bill McLain, known as the Internet’s Answer Whiz, has a very down to earth writing style that makes What Makes Flamingos Pink? a very enjoyable read. While there’s not enough information on any one topic to provide, say, research for a student’s school essay, that’s not the point. This book is perfect for reading in bits and pieces, and providing plenty of entertainment along the way.
Quill says: You’ll be the life of your next party after reading this book – you’ll be able to entertain your friends with all sorts of random facts.