Guinness World Records 2018

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Craig Glenday (editor-in-chief), Guinness World Records 2018,  Pan Macmillan Australia,  7 Sept 2017,  256pp.,  $44.99 (hbk), ISBN: 9781910561713

The Guinness World Records annual is always visually enticing, with a spectacular cover, full colour pictures throughout and busy pages packed with images and facts. This year that appeal is even greater because the theme for the annual is ‘superheroes’ – a theme that will hold great interest for school children of all ages given the current raft of Marvel and DC movies. The superheroes featured here are both fictional and non-fictional. Various sections spotlight ‘real world’ superheroes for record-breaking feats of all kinds, whilst there is a separate section on superheroes in comics, on screen and in games. There are plenty of pictures and reams of trivia to satisfy any superhero fan.

Other key categories in the book relate to the spectacular range of statistical outliers in sports, transport, technology, arts and media, animals, adventures, society and the earth. Then there is the section on ‘recordmania’, which catalogues the curious and often bizarre achievements of various world record holders. A quick dip reveals things like the world’s largest vegan cake, a massive collection of crocodile-related items, the most hamburgers eaten in three minutes and many other truly odd talents.

The book uses colour coding so it is surprisingly simple to navigate the endless wealth of information and there are various tables throughout that make it easy to compare similar items. A comprehensive index makes it simple to search for events, animals or people of particular interest. A new feature of this year’s annual are the ten info-graphic posters that gather together information on the tallest, fastest, youngest etc. These posters feature excellent design, making it easy to take in and compare a lot of information around the theme and as an added bonus they are available for download at the Guinness World Records website. A great book for kids who love facts, stats and anything else to sate their curiosity.

Reviewed by Rachel Le Rossignol

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