A helpful, easy-to-read guide to poisons.

THE COMMONSENSE GUIDE TO EVERYDAY POISONS

HOW TO LIVE WITH THE PRODUCTS YOU LOVE (AND WHAT TO DO WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN)

A debut manual examines poisonous household substances and less toxic alternatives.

What are parents to do if, say, their child takes a bite out of an air freshener? The answer, according to Angert, is to rinse out the kid’s mouth with water. The adults should also not panic too much, a major theme throughout the book, which is presented as a go-to resource when common products are used inappropriately. The author delivers advice on items ranging from acne treatments to witch hazel. Background information is provided on each substance as well as the potential for toxicity if brought into contact with skin (or inhaled, consumed, or simply placed in the mouth). There are also practical tips and remedies. For instance, if someone swallows gasoline and throat irritation results, drinking milk may alleviate the burning sensation, though vomiting should never be induced. Beyond such suggestions, the guide features intriguing tidbits as well as home recipes. For example, the entry on gasoline includes the meaning of octane and a brief history of ethanol fuel. There are sections on how to make fabric softener, clean up an antifreeze spill, and determine whether certain moldy foods can be eaten or should be thrown away. The text often has a folksy tone that wouldn’t be out of place in a Mother Jones article. Angert nimbly explains that the manufacturer of Bitrex (which is used as an additive to nail polish remover to make it unpalatable) offers taste-test kits so consumers can “discover just how awful it is.” The pointers here are immensely useful, though some of them can be oddly placed. Mosquito prevention recommendations follow a passage on the toxicity of Tiki torch fuel. The two topics are not entirely unrelated, though it seems that someone concerned about accidental citronella oil consumption may not be in the mood to discover new ways to keep mosquitoes out of the backyard. Nevertheless, the manual is illuminating and concise. Readers, whether they are distressed because their pets ate ant poison or they simply want to make their own deodorant, are likely to learn something valuable in these pages.  

A helpful, easy-to-read guide to poisons.

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-692-19612-0

Page Count: 198

Publisher: Time Tunnel Media

Review Posted Online: Dec. 5, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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