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

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

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.



Related Articles

Could YOU survive anything? Find out with this quiz from George Ivanoff's survival guides

News | Book Life

15 December 2020

Could YOU survive anything? Find out with this quiz from George Ivanoff's survival guides

Publisher details

The Australia Survival Guide
George Ivanoff
Puffin Books
01 October, 2019


Australia is trying to KILL you – this book will save your life!Oh no! You’ve been bitten by an inland taipan?Don’t worry, The Australia Survival Guide has the first-aid advice you need!What’s that? You’re lost in the bush and need to know how to collect your own water?The Australia Survival Guide has got you covered.Our amazing country has its fair share of dangers: sharks, snakes, cyclones and crocodiles can be a serious threat to your life! But don’t worry. This book will help you by providing the knowledge you need to survive in all kinds of Aussie conditions – in the bush, in the desert or even at the beach!So get out there and look around! Even if you think Australia is trying to kill you, The Australia Survival Guide can save your life!
George Ivanoff
About the author

George Ivanoff

George Ivanoff is an author and stay-at-home dad residing in Melbourne, Australia. He has written over 70 books for children and teenagers, including fiction and non-fiction. George is best known for his Gamers trilogy - Gamers' Quest, Gamers' Challenge and Gamers' Rebellion - a series of teen sci-fi novels set in a computer game world. George eats too much chocolate and drinks too much coffee. He has one wife, two children and two cats.

Books by George Ivanoff


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *