Friday, December 28, 2007

Daring, or just Dangerous?

Due to the popularity of the Dangerous Book for Boys around my house (what? Paul is reading something??), I decided to look at the Daring Book for Girls, and The Dangerous Book for Dogs. I cannot recommend the girls' book, and I am sorry to say it. It includes some occultish elements that are both unnecessary and harmful to a daring life, and parts are just plain creepy. And it's too bad, as it contains some great information, like how to read tide charts, how to tie a sari (I received my early education from an Indian woman, and I love saris!), how to build a campfire, etc. There are alternatives, though, like the girls Best at Everything Book, which, despite the somewhat bratty name, is quite useful in the same way that the Daring book could be. There is also my old favorite, The American Girls' Handy Book, which is chock full of games, ideas, and useful information, or, better yet, the gender-neutral Field and Forest Handy Book.

The Dangerous Book for Dogs is a great book! Part parody, part insightful guide into your dog's brain, it will provide a dog owner with hours of amusement. It is a wee bit vulgar (pee and poop, and other dog behaviors abound), but so are dogs. From a dog's point of view, for instance, a list of edible items might include things that, as David Letterman once said, no human would ever eat. But it also includes detailed information that your dog needs, like a diagram on how to avoid taking medication, a guide to things to chase, and great dog battles in history. Astronomy includes Canis Major. If you live in a rural area, you dog will need to know how to tree a raccoon. Major doggy motion picture stars are given a chart of their own.

Dogs will be dogs, and we all know what dogs do, especially with other dogs, and sometimes with guests, so use your own discretion when handing the book over to the kids. But it is pretty funny.


Stephanie said...

Dakota Christmas, and now this "Handy Book" I hadn't ever seen before! I'm quickly becoming a regular here. Keep it up. (I'm over at by the way -- just in case you want to drop by)

I just put the Handy Book on hold so I can go get it next time I'm at Powell's. Thanks for the heads up.

Mary Vitamin (Helen) said...

Macbeth, thanks for the review of the Girl's Book.

Jennifer said...

I gave that hilarious book to the dog lovers in my family this Christmas. It is just about the funniest thing I've read in a long while!

Leticia said...

I agree with your opinion of "The Daring Book for Girls". I got a copy to review for a possible TV appearance on the Good Morning America Show with my girls to endorse the book before it came out. Within five minutes, I noticed the occult sections and had to decline the invitation; this book with all it's wonderful aspects like flower pressing, making your own rip line, campfire songs, etc. mixes in harmful elements like palm reading p 8, evoking "Bloody Mary" p 102, and yoga on p 191. That these elements are included within a largely wholesome book is even more insidious, as it implies they are harmless. I asked Miriam Peskowitz to consider removing them, and haven't heard from her since.