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Why? Over 1,111 Answers to Everything

For anyone who has laid awake at night, wondering what's at the center of the galaxy, why we get old, whether animals have a sense of rhythm, or why junk food tastes better than healthy food--and for the parents and teachers who have despaired of ever being able to come up with answers on the spot--Crispin Boyer's Why? is an all-you-can-eat buffet of knowledge. Packed with fascinating facts and myth-busters, and with hundreds of gorgeous National Geographic-quality photos, Why? is the kind of book kids and adults will pick up again and again.

What sets Why? apart from other big, glossy collections of fun facts is the easygoing writing style that Boyer (That's Gross!; This or That?) is known for. In the chapter about the universe, Boyer writes, "Nothing against the world's largest ketchup bottle in Illinois, U.S.A., or the museum of roller skates in nearby Nebraska, but a voyage through the solar system reveals more awe-inspiring attractions than your typical cross-country road trip." And, in the animal chapter, he vividly describes the taste of different bugs: "giant water bugs taste like a salty Jolly Rancher candy... scorpions taste funky and bitter, like spoiled crab meat... palm weevil larvae taste like bacon soup."

Organized around topics such as technology, the body, pop culture, history and the planet, Why? includes weird-but-true facts, silly questions with serious answers ("What would happen if I never trimmed my nails?"), and "Q:Tips," or advice related to each chapter's topics. Truly, there's something for everyone here. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor