101 Great Killer Creatures, by Paul Holper & Simon Torok

Which is most deadly – a lion or a flea? If you answered lion, you might be right, on a case- by-case basis. Most of us would rather meet a flea than a wild lion. But in fact, fleas have caused more human deaths than any large animal. This tiny insect is the transmitter of disease – and in the year 542, it spread the plague so widely that an estimated 40 million people died.

The flea is just one of the many dangerous animals discussed in this non-fiction offering aimed at fact-mad young readers. From the ocean to the jungle, and even back in time, 101 Great Killer Creatures explores the facts and myths that surround all kinds of animals.

The small, fairly dense text of the book is still highly readable. Authors Paul Holper and Simon Torok, both employees of the CSIRO, use a conversational style to convey information simply and with humour. The use of cartoons and anecdotes adds to its readability.

A fun read for ages 8-12.

101 Great Killer Creatures, by Paul Holper & Simon Torok
ABC Books, 2005

Amazing Science, by Simon Torok & Paul Holper


• Have you heard about the turtle that breathes through its bottom?

• Did you know that your toilet seat is probably more hygienic than you kitchen chopping board?

• How do you drop an uncooked egg 10 metres without breaking it?

The answers to these questions and many more bizarre, baffling and simply amazing pieces of information can be found in this volume.

This new edition is actually a bind-up of four smaller, earlier titles – Weird! Amazing Inventions & Wacky Science, Whiz! Maths & Science Puzzles, Zap! Science Experiments and Wow! Science Facts & Trivia – and as such features a range of activities and facts, presented in a fun, easy to follow format, which will keep young scientist entertained for hours and interest children who think they aren’t ‘in’ to science.

The authors, Dr Simon Torok and Paul Holper both work for the CSIRO and have backgrounds working with kids, so are well-equipped to present such a book. The illustrations, by Stephen Axelsen, add to the entertainment.

An excellent read for kids aged 8-12 and for classroom and library collections.

Amazing Science! by Paul Holper and Simon Torok
ABC Books, 2005

101 Great Solar System Facts & Trivia, by Simon Torok & Paul Holper

Is there life elsewhere in the solar system?
How do you remember the order of the planets?
Why is Mars red?
Where do comets come from?

All these questions and many more are answered in this intriguing title from science writers Simon Torok and Paul Holper. Readers journey through the book from the Sun, to Mercury and all the way to Pluto, with sections exploring the Moon, comets, asteroids and more.

There is a chapter devoted to each planet explaining the origin of its name, its size and composition, its discovery and observation. Humorous cartoons and serious facts pepper the text, all presented in down to earth language and with an Australian focus, which will engage young readers.

The authors both work for the CSIRO. Simon Torok has previously edited Helix magazine and Paul Holper has a an education qualification to go along with his science degrees, making both well qualified to write on science topics for kids. Previous titles include 101 Great Australian Adventures and the Amazing Science series.

101 Great Solar System Facts and Trivia would make a great addition to the classroom or school library, but is just as suitable for private reading.

101 Great Solar System Facts and Trivia, by Simon Torok & Paul Holper
ABC Books, 2004