Reviews /

The Big Book of Mysteries

Authored by Tom Adams
Illustrated by Yas Imamura
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd

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When my son was young (he is now a strapping 30 odd year old with greying hair!), I was told by his teacher that he wasn’t much of a reader because he didn’t read stories. I listened politely and went home. When I arrived home, my son was sitting quietly on the sofa surrounded by joke books, The Guinness Book of Records, and his PlayStation magazine. Not a reader of stories no, but a voracious reader of jokes and facts. Tom Adams’ range of fact focused books, and especially his Big Book of Mysteries, would have been right up his street.

In fact, this book would appeal to anyone who likes a good mystery: the breadth of mysteries included is impressive. Readers can browse through the table of contents to choose from such delights as Disappearing People, UFOs, Natural Phenomena, Undiscovered Creatures, Hoaxes, Disappearing Places, Spirits and Ghosts, Mind Over Matter, Intelligent Ancestors, and Unexplained Objects. I learned of quite a few unsolved mysteries from the Voynich Manuscript to the Cottingley Fairies to Milkshake Lake. This is the perfect book to dip in and out of and is sure to delight and appeal to those readers who like exploring the unknown. And like all good non-fiction books, this has a very useful index on the back pages.

The illustrations by Yas Imamura perfectly complement each of the mysteries, her style ranging from ancient and medieval art to cartoon style doodles.

This is the perfect book for the KS2 classroom: I can imagine children choosing a mystery a day to share with their peers. It would also be the perfect gift for those readers who prefer nonfiction reads.