Guinness World Records 2018 : Amazing Animals, Guinness World Records, 28 Nov 2017, 216pp., $24.99 (pbk), ISBN: 9781910561614
From the outset this book strikes as inviting, interesting and informative. The bright colours, abundance of images and clear layout give it instant appeal, and from the turn of the first page it does not disappoint.
Amazing Animals has something for everyone. It covers a massive range of animals, both wild and tame, as well as zoos, people dressed like animals and other weird and wonderful, related topics. It is up to date; including records for Instagram and Snapchat stats. Even the craziest animal fanatic is bound to discover things they didn’t know. And if you are into all things ugly or dangerous, those are covered too.
Finding what you want to look at is easy – with a clear contents page at the start and then summary pages at the start of each section. The sections are colour coded down the edge of the pages and labelled at the top of each page. Actual records are highlighted in bold but are also contained within short narratives that provide background information on the animal or the context for the record.
If you are familiar with the traditional Guinness Book of Records format, you have some sense of what you are in for, but this edition is particularly user-friendly for kids. Some of the animals featured have appeared on TV, including the Guinness WR offshoot ‘Officially Amazing’.
From a readers point of view, the best thing about these books is that you can read as little or as much as you want, and pick this book up time and again. The mix of pictures and cartoon images with text make it accessible for reluctant or new readers and there’s something included to interest and entertain almost anyone. You can even find out whether your pet has what it takes to be a record holder. Highly recommended.
Reviewed by Katie Bingham