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You Asked for It!: Strange but True Answers to 99 Wacky Questions

by Marg Meikle, Tina Holdcroft, illus.

Just as its title promises, the 99 questions contained herein are pretty wacky – for example, to name but three: Do dogs and cats have belly buttons?; Why do people wear underwear?; and Does a cow’s tail facing east mean rain?
For all the strangeness conveyed by the questions, the answers Meikle supplies are thoroughly researched, clearly explained, and set forward with a nice blend of humour and an authoritative, but never didactic, tone. (For the record, the answers to the above queries are respectively: yes, to cut down on laundry, and maybe.)
You’d expect nothing less from author Marg Meikle, the long-time Answer Lady from CBC Radio’s “The Gabereau Show,” who’s following up her Silver Birch Award-winning Funny You Should Ask with this one. What’s even better is that most of the 99 queries come from kids across Canada who have contacted Meikle looking for answers to their oddball questions.
You Asked For It! would make an excellent companion to another recent Scholastic title, Crazy Canadian Trivia by Pat Hancock. Be forewarned, though, that Meikle’s indexed book is likely aimed at the more inquiring young mind with a serious bent. It’s a dense read, and although a handful of black-and-white illustrations add a bit of life to the page, the emphasis is on facts, ideas, and science. That said, it’s the kind of book that can hold a young reader’s attention for an extremely long time in a single sitting.