Saturday 5 October 2013

Children's book review : Don't You Dare - Sharky & George

  When we received a copy of Don't You Dare to review over the summer, I glanced at the cover, spotted the tagline "Over 100 Fun Things To Do" and thought I knew exactly what to expect inside. How wrong was I?! It's much better and funnier than I ever imagined (even though, as an adult, I'm sure I'm supposed to do the death stare and say "Don't You Dare" for some of the activities suggested !).

The tone of the book is set from the opening pages. The very first page declares "OFFICIAL WARNING. The rules of this book are : There are NO rules ! [...] This is NOT a book that minds getting a bit roughed up. Draw on it, spill on it, get it muddy ... it won't care!". A few pages in, you get a prankometer which shows you how "serious" each prank is. They are rated from blue ("Victim is highly amused, no harm done - you might even get a pat on the back") through green and orange ("Less amused this time and already planning revenge") to dark orange and red ("Don't wait around to find out, just run - run and hide")! It's all tongue in cheek though, there's nothing really naughty or offensive in there.

The book suggests lots of "old-fashioned" activities that I remember from being a child but that modern kids, brought up on a less hands-on diet of video games, DVDs and ipads, have probably never heard of before. Creating a flick book, stone skimming and playing games with a pen and paper like squares and making pictures from dots are just a few examples. Other fun suggestions take a well known activity as a starting point (rock-pooling or playground games like Stuck in the Mud) and take them to a new level (Rock Pool Top Trumps or the much more hilarious Bog Flush It, where you have to pretend to be a toilet when you are caught and can only be released by being "flushed" !).

There are some serious pages too, for example a double page spread on Great British Battles, but even then, the tongue-in-cheek sense of humour continues in the captions under the photos.

Other pages invite you to get creative, such as this "draw a scene" page or the coin rubbing activity on the back page (something else I used to do as a kid but had never thought of showing to the Madhouse Mini-testers).

Other activities invite you to get active and use strategic planning, such as Bedroom Minefield, which challenges you to cross your bedroom without touching the ground.

Other are just so silly that you can't help but laugh even just by reading them, let alone playing them. Butt Darts, played by clenching a coin between your bum cheeks and trying to drop it in a cup, for example, closing followed by a Guff-O-Graph fart log !

The Madhouse Mini-testers took the book and hid themselves away in an indoor den that they'd built. I didn't hear a peep out of them for the rest of the morning, except for regular squeals and bursts of laughter ! It's a great book for children with a slightly naughty streak who don't mind silly games that will make them look a bit ridiculous. I personally can't wait to get involved in playing some of them myself !

star rating : 4.5/5

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Egmont (3 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405258292
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405258296
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 20.2 x 1.8 cm

RRP : 12.99

Disclosure : We received the book in order to write an honest review.

Other reviews you may be interested in:

Picture Book Review : Cupcake and the Princess Party - Mandy Archer & Kirsteen Harris-Jones

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