Monday, May 7, 2007

The business of being a boy...

Remember digging in the dirt in hopes of discovering buried treasures? Or finding yourself mesmerized while watching the various insects scurry for cover after you'd pick up a rock? Remember those long summer days when your parents would force you outside, "to let the stink blow off ya." (Or was that just MY parents who said things like that?)

Well, brothers Conn and Hal Iggulden do. And they used those childhood memories to write The Dangerous Book for Boys -- a tome that could soon be considered the bible of boyhood.

The brothers leave no stone unturned when it comes to topics of boyhood interest. And there's a plethora of tips and "how-to's" as well.

Want to know how to fine tune your paper airplane design? Its in the book. Want to know how to build a supercool treehouse? Again -- in the book. There are even lessons on correct grammar usage, a list of books every boy should read, and advice on how to talk to girls. But if grammar and girls aren't of particular interest? A boy can always read about pirates, how to hunt/cook a rabbit or even learn the finer points of poker.

What I liked about the book:
The book has a very easy-going, enthusiastic feel to it. The chapters are short so you, or the kids in your life, won't feel so overwhelmed. And the brothers' endearing sense of humor shines through. (The way they write reminds me of my father-in-law -- an incredibly intelligent, loving man whom I dearly admire and respect.) And you get a sense that the brothers have a great relationship. It is obvious -- creating this book was a labor of love.

And they do offer some very cool tips. The book isn't limited to just boys. Anyone can read it. And regardless of age or gender, there are chapters of interest to everyone. And although, growing up, I wasn't into "Famous battles" or "The rules of soccer", I still would have loved this book for the chapters like "Dog tricks" or "Growing sunflowers" or "Insects and spiders".

My little man takes the business of being a boy VERY seriously. Most boys inherently do. I know that as he gets older, he and his friends will delve into this boyhood manual -- especially when they find the chapter on how to build a go-cart! (God help our neighborhood when THAT happens!)

What you should know:
This book is best for boys about nine and older. Also, with some of these projects I would highly recommend adult supervision, lest you WANT to spend a few hours at your local emergency room. But the sorts of projects that require supervision are obvious. People with common sense (and are majorly paranoid like me) won't allow 'tween-age kids to try to make a tree house or build a workbench completely on their own.

This book is perfect for:
Boys (and many girls) of all ages will find something to love about this book. And it would make a fabulous Father's Day gift -- especially for grandfathers. It might spark some wonderful boyhood memories for the dads and grandpas to share with their young-uns. And for those fathers or grandfathers who find they have a hard time relating/connecting with their boys -- reading this together may inspire some spirited discussions or interesting projects.

TO WIN A TWO-MAN TENT by NORTHFACE go to Parent Bloggers Network and leave a comment on The Dangerous Book for Boys campaign post.

This review was written for The Parent Bloggers Network. If you have a product you'd like PBN to review, click on this link for more info.

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