Unreal. Can you tell fact from fake? by Kate Simpson and Leila Rudge

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Unreal! Can you tell fact from fiction? is an absorbing oversized hardcover book that will immediately hook young readers from the very first pages. The introduction advises them that some mythical displays have ended up in the Natural History area and help is needed to sort them out. This then leads into a page discussing real or unreal, and sorting fact from fiction with five important questions asked:

Who is providing me with this information?
Do they have evidence for their claims?
Why are they telling me this?
How recent is the information?
Do other sources agree?

Following this is a contents page beginning with a chapter called ‘Into the Deep’ with the final chapter called ‘It Was THIS Big!’ Each chapter discusses a number of creatures and the reader can try to guess from the information which of those are real and which one is unreal. It is not always obvious but the answers are provided on the following pages with further fascinating facts.  From Australia there is mention of the drop bear, a predatory marsupial that can drop on unsuspecting tourists. Real or unreal? There is also a delightful story about the spaghetti tree broadcast on BBC television April 1, 1957, which may have tricked some of the viewers! In the final pages is a thank you for helping to sort out the creatures plus a handy index. There might also be one last creature: werewolves - unreal…Right?

Throughout this book are all sorts of wondrous creatures that will captivate and engage readers. Complemented by striking illustrations in soft pastel tones that are cleverly presented amongst the well-spaced and accessible information, this special book is a must-have for all libraries.

Themes: Fact, Fiction, History, Real, Fake, Animals.

Kathryn Beilby