100 Things to Know About the Unknown
Alex Frith, Jerome Martin, Alice James, Tom Mumbray, Lan Cook, Micaela Tapsell
Federico Mariani, Dominique Byron, Shaw Nielsen
128pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99
There is a saying that you don’t know what you don’t know, but sometimes the unknown is really just the next step in human exploration whether that be into something enormous like space, something long ago like the origins of the Sphinx or something into the future like whether there will be chocolate spread in a few years.
According to this fascinating book, there are many different types of unknowns including
- things that are still awaiting discovery
- things we think are true but can’t know for sure
- things that can never be known
- things that somebody knows- but they’re not telling
- things we could know if only we were allowed to find them out
- things that people once knew but now nobody knows
- things that we are all better off not knowing
and those things that we don’t know we don’t know.
Once again, Usborne has produced a fascinating book that delves into all sorts of things that are unknown, explaining some things such as the significance of the Tombs of Unknown Soldiers in more than 50 countries while leaving others unexplained like the reason for the appendix in your body. With its usual reader-friendly format, accessible text and Quicklinks to encourage further exploration, this is one that has the potential to take the reader on hundreds of new journeys as they delve deeper trying the discover why. Who knew that Nutella was in danger because of infections wiping out hazelnut trees? Or that it took nearly a century for scientists to believe the platypus was a real creature and not a hoax of several animals stitched together? Or that scientists still don’t know why we yawn?
Exciting kids’ curiosity about why, where, when, what, which, and how is the basis for discovering the answers to the mysteries of this planet and beyond, and it is books like these that open their eyes and their minds to keep them wondering that will lead to answers, although, more likely, it will open up more questions. Indeed, we don’t know what we don’t know, and relying on the Internet for information when only 4% of that is readily searchable (see page 98) shows why we need print books like this and all sorts of other topics in our library collections.
Here’s proof! Gave it to a young friend…