Wednesday 1 October 2014

Our favourite book - Officially amazing

For the last three years we have been very lucky to attend great events with Guinness World Records (GWR). All my family have attempted to break world records and sadly as yet, we have not been successful. We have had great fun trying though, JJ was so close to attaining the most hats on your head in one minute record and I almost got the most socks paired & rolled in one minute and most party poppers popped in 30 seconds. Next time I vow I will do it and will go home with one of the coveted world record framed certificates.

The fact that we have not managed to bag a world record has not diluted the kids thirst for all things GWR though, not at all. Last year they each had a copy of the Guinness World Records book and I can’t believe how much they were looked at. I did wonder at first if three books might be overkill but it has proved perfect as one or two are kept in the car and others float from room to room in our house. I shouldn’t be surprised if the kids could now tell you some of the facts in that book off by heart.

They haven’t been selfish though, oh no. The books have been shared with their three mates that we take to school each day and the six of them chat about the woman who had eight babies, the tallest elevator in the world or which country has the most mobile phones per 1000 people (UAE if case you were wondering with 1709 per 1000 people). They have also been into school and other kids been allowed to read them and used as fun props in lessons.

This year is the 60th anniversary of Guinness World Records and that is quite some time for it to have been running. I remember it right back to 40 odd years ago as a child when it was presented on TV by Roy Castle and I can still sing you the tune and hear him playing his trumpet. It’s a shame there is not a Records Breakers prime time show anymore as I think we miss good old fashioned variety show fun entertainment nowadays. Of course the kids can still watch a similar program with Officially Amazing being aired on CBBC.

Last year when we was at the GWR blogger event they used us as a focus group to talk about the book and get the kids input and feedback on what they liked about the book and perhaps what could be changed or updated. There were some interesting conversations but in truth I didn’t think much about it at the time, it was only when the 2015 GWR book arrived on my doorstep last week that I recalled the group and felt a little proud that we had helped to choose that cover and had an input to how it might look this year. That sure does make this year’s book feel even more special.

JJ was gutted that we won’t get to make the blogger event this year as we are away in Jersey at the same time. Hopefully we will get an invite to the next event and JJ can console himself by reading he book.

So what is the book like this year?

To put it simply - it's great. Full of all the fun facts and great pictures that the children enjoy but fresh and with lots of new content. It is amazing really how they manage to keep such a big book interesting year on year. It is 255 pages of non-stop entertainment and there is a bonus chapter available as an e-book, which will take you on a behind the scenes tour of GWR. As always it has a strong hardbacked cover so it remains nice and the pages are thick and glossy.

As with the last two years the augmented reality feature is here again. You can download the app for free (on apple and Android) and then parts of the book come alive. It really is very simple and very effective, what a great way to engage the kids. They have the tech they love but it is still book based and educational. The sort of experiences you can have are measuring yourself against the worlds tallest man, explore the planets of the solar system and witness the worlds most venomous spider leap from the page (ekk!).

Here is JJ with Craig Glenday the GWR Editor last year looking at the augmented reality app.

The Guinness World Record 2015 book has an RRP of £20 but I see it is currently £9.00 on Amazon and I've seen it for £10 in some shops, it really is a snip at those kind of prices and for sure I'll be buying copies if JJ needs any birthday gifts for his mates in the coming months.

If you have youngsters who are interested in world records then they must check out the new kids GWR website, as it has all the information they love presented in a way that appeals to them.

Yet again GWR have done good and the book is a big hit in our house. It is juts a shame we only have on copy this year as there have been arguments so far and JJ is now asking me for the gamers edition.

Disclosure: We was sent the book free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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