A noteworthy review of Fascinating Facts from Booklist on May 15, 2021
These new books in the Fascinating Facts series bring together high-interest facts and anecdotes about the title topic. The material is grouped into several loosely related categories or chapters. In Dogs, author Pearson ably guides readers through the dog’s body, domestication, and various breeds, including facts such as that floppy ears, spots, and curly tails are associated with domestication. In Engineering, Smibert describes not engineering concepts but spectacular feats from the ancient world to today’s most futuristic robots and computers, including record-breaking achievements. In History, York covers interesting moments and leaders in both world and U.S. history—with the one jarring note of a photo of Hitler (the accompanying text about his nephew’s role in the U.S. Navy is fine). In U.S. Presidents, Peterson tells a variety of anecdotes about various presidents, although she does not discuss their more substantive political roles. The books’ text generally reads more like a collection of short features than a cohesive narrative, even though it is formatted as a main text with sidebars and captions. Simple but bold and well-chosen stock photos pop from the page, and extensive captions provide space for yet more facts. A glossary and list of related titles and links complete the package. Not deep, but fun and interesting nonfiction that lives up to the series name.