Extreme Planet (Not for Parents) by Lonely Planet

I’m finding it hard to find fault with this book. We’re big fans of the Lonely Planet  Not for Parents Travel Book in this house, but it is not without its flaws. This latest incarnation seems to me just about perfect for inquisitive children who have an interest in the planet, and those who like a few gross-out facts too (which is just about all of them).

My seven year old is currently telling everybody about the people in the Phillipines who reenact the crucifixion and the festival in Thailand where they stab themselves with sharp implements. The bullet ants initiation ceremony also caused quite a stir. It’s that sort of book.

As you’d expect with a Lonely Planet book, production values are high. Good tough cover and lots of excellent photos. Each subject has a double page spread and topics are as diverse as Light, the Sepik river and holes in the ground. There are countless interesting facts, each one able to start off further discussion about the world around us. It’s an educational godsend.

Despite the title, it’s not even just for kids. It’s taken me ages to write this review as I keep stopping to read bits of the book. Christmas is coming and Lonely Planet is clearly positioning Extreme Planet in the Guiness BofR/Ripley’s Believe it or Not market. It’s a far better alternative to both.

With the internet and tablet computers rendering this type of book obsolete, Extreme Planet is the perfect riposte. Beautifully produced, well-written and captivating to read, this wonderful volume proves that sometimes the printed page is best.

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