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Laugh in the Face of Danger: Review of The Australia Survival Guide

October 1, 2019

With a warning on the cover that says, ‘Australia is trying to kill you – this book will save your life!’ how can you not be intrigued and immediately turn to the first page.

When visitors to Australia hear about the animals we have creeping around in our bushland and swimming in our ocean they are often a bit worried, and rightly so! The Australia Survival Guide aims to bring locals and visitors important information, interesting stories and strategies to avoid danger but handles them with humour and practical tips.

Filled with fun facts like Australia’s top 10 deadliest snakes, Australia’s top 4 mosquito-borne diseases and Australia’s top 4 cute but deadly dangerous animals it’s a highly engaging read.  For Australian kids, it contains important information about what they might find in their backyard and for travellers (and armchair travellers) it’s a great collection of animal facts that are often nothing short of fascinating!

There are also first aid dos and don’ts and a bit of reassurance with information on actual fatalities. For example, there have actually been no officially confirmed spider bite deaths in Australia since 1979. Phew!

My personal favourite is what author George Ivanoff calls the ‘dead-o-metre’. At the end of each section the ‘dead-o-metre’ appears and gives its verdict on how deadly that particular animal is from ‘not dead’ to ‘very very dead’- referring to the state you may find yourself in if you encounter that particular animal.

Humour is used to great effect throughout, making this important information entertaining and accessible. You can tell that Ivanoff had more than a little fun writing this book.

There are also references to video games relating surviving in Australia to game playing and surviving in games – the author has an avatar making it appealing to the 8+ reader. Suggestions for further reading and a glossary along with a final section on random stuff such as lists of Australian slang and inventions will have them hooked. The great thing about the author’s approach is that the collection of all these great facts will have kids reciting them to you and thus becoming an expert – if you do happen to get a bite or come across a dangerous situation then your little expert will relish the idea that they may have saved the day!

The serious conclusion is that preparation and information are key! And don’t annoy, poke or prod snakes, crocs, spiders or any of the other creatures listed in this book!

So, if you’re after a handbook to surviving in Australia for all the family then look no further.

Purchase a copy of The Australia Survival Guide  

Take a look inside here.

George Ivanoff is a Melbourne author who’s written more than 100 books for kids and teens, including the interactive You Choose series, the RFDS adventures and the Other Worlds series.

As a child, George loved reading interactive books, where he got to make decisions about the direction of the story. He has had more fun plotting and writing the You Choose books than pretty much anything else. And writing the RFDS adventures has opened his eyes to the amazing work done by the Royal Flying Doctor Service. With Other Worlds George has ventured into the realms of science fiction and fantasy, two of his favourite genres, in order to tell stories about ordinary kids facing extraordinary circumstances.

George’s books and stories have been shortlisted for numerous awards and he is thrilled that You Choose: The Treasure of Dead Man’s Cove won the 2015 YABBA for Fiction for Younger Readers.

George drinks too much coffee, eats too much chocolate and watches too much Doctor Who. He has one wife, two children and an uncontrollable imagination.

 

 


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