Trivia, trivia #2

A few months back, I did a review of a series of trivia books and I’ve finished a bunch more since then. I have a habitual vice of poring into tomes of useless information, especially when I’m too stressed to read continuously, or when I need a break from long narratives.

This time around, I have another set of four trivia books on a variety of subjects, from general information to language to etiquette and combat: Why Don’t Penguins’ Feet Freeze? and 114 Other Questions edited by  Mick O’ Hare; Red Herrings and White Elephants: The Origins of the Phrases We Use Everyday by Albert Jack (illustrated by Ama Page); Directions to Servants by Jonathan Swift; and The Action Heroine’s Handbook by Jennifer Worick and Joe Borgenicht (books 237-240 of 2009).

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¿Habla Español?


In a multicultural world, bilingual books serve as great tools for learning a second language, making it more accessible to readers of two languages.

Here in the Philippines, almost all picture books are bilingual, with English and Filipino translations side by side, as young readers learn in both languages.

Last December, I was organizing my bookshelf when I uncovered a set of bilingual fairy tales in Spanish and English. I mooched them last year and stashed them on a back shelf, almost forgotten: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs / Blancanieves by Miquel Desclot, Ignasi Blanch; Jack and the Beanstalk / Juan y los frijoles mágicos by Francesc Bofill, Arnal Ballester, Alis Alejandro; Aladdin and the Magic Lamp/Aladino y la lámpara maravillosa by Josep Vallverdú, Pep Montserrat, and The Three Little Pigs / Los Tres Cerditos by Mercè Escardó i Bas, Pere Joan.

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