Saturday Something: Who Wins?

I discovered something you may need to put on your bookshelf (or, better, your coffee table) … It’s called Who Wins? And it challenges you to pit history’s most crazy-interesting people against one another in pretty silly contests.

Credit: Workman Publishing

To give you a taste:

Let’s say Charles Dickens challenges Mother Teresa to a light saber duel—they’re both equally fit, so will his superior artistry overcome her advantage in bravery and leadership?

Tough one, right? I think Mother Teresa’s spiritual power would overcome the author’s known show-offiness, but I could be convinced otherwise …

What makes this book truly unique is that, with the flip of a couple of pages, I could pit two other historical figures (say … Jane Goodall and Nelson Mandela) against each other in a light saber battle … or pit them against each other in an epic Hunger Games battle. Or a hot dog eating contest.

Credit: Workman Publishing
Here you can see how the pages are split into thirds, so you control the players and the game. This one seems obvious to me: How can Chaplin win without speaking??

That’s the beauty of this imaginative flip book: Its pages are divided into three sections, so you can match any of the 50 celebrities on the left against any of the 50 celebrities on the right in any of the 50 battles in the middle section. I’m no Copernicus (one of the 100 featured famous folks), but that’s a lot of opportunities to strike up a fun conversation and learn something new (or about someone new)!

Each of the famous people is given a short bio and ranked in six categories—bravery, leadership, artistry, wealth, wisdom, and fitness, and each of the challenges is accompanied by some information about its cultural relevance and some thinking point for jumping into how to evaluate the contestants. Like I said, I not only had fun playing, but Dan and I both actually learned a lot, as well.

Credit: Workman Publishing
Well, if we’re talking about the Disney World attraction, I’ve got to give it to Margie. But if we’re talking about the mountain … I think the Iron Lady still comes out on top.

Why do I love it? Well, apart from the obvious love of learning and my yen for friendly debate, there are some very fun nods to Disney in the book, and I definitely think it’s worth checking out!

The book is beautifully illustrated by Tim Booth and smartly (hilariously!) written by Clay Swartz, who’s an editor at Boy’s Life and thus uniquely qualified to help make learning extra, ultra fun for kids (and kids at heart!). I keep hitting on the “learning” thing because I found great value in that … but it never felt like I was working for the knowledge. It just felt like a lot of fun!

Credit: Workman Publishing
Augustina FTW, obvs. Maybe Marvel won’t make action figures of her or include her on any tee shirt designs, but she’d be a valuable asset.

Want to join in the debate? Who Wins?, from Workman Publishing, goes on sale this Tuesday, July 12, and you can pre-order on Amazon or find it at your local bookstore (IBSN: 0761185445) now!


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge from Workman Publishing. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my own experience.