I recently read, in National Geographic Kids’ Weird But True! Canada*, that Canada has more doughnut shops per person than any other country. Related: A Canadian doughnut shop once made a doughnut topped with hot sauce and corn chips. What have we learned here? First: Canadians love doughnuts — even gross ones — and, second: we are a nation filled with weird, fascinating and totally-true facts.
*I received this product for free from Moms Meet to test out with my kids and provide honest feedback. As always, all opinions are my own. Compensation for this post was provided.
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission.
Over Christmas, the crazy-mild Canadian weather was not conducive to outdoor, snowy play so we largely spent our time indoors. While there were no freaky doughnuts involved, there were plenty of dance parties, movie nights, and game time — the quizzier the better. Our kids will never shy away from showcasing their vast knowledge of useless information.
However, much like Quebec’s famous ice hotel, [which] is built [each December] out of 453 tonnes (500 T) of ice and more than 272,000 tonnes (300,000 T) of snow [before being brought down in April], holiday mode came to an end much too quickly. Truly, I was in no hurry to come out of hibernation and head back into the daily grind, especially since winter finally decided to show up to the party.
I mean, did you know winter temperatures in Canada can plunge colder than those on the surface of Mars? It’s no wonder, then, that hot-spring swimmers in the Yukon can compete in a hair-freezing contest in which participants sculpt their locks into wacky designs in -30ºC (-22ºF) temperatures! Meanwhile, I’m over here trying to get my kids to wear snow pants to school, never mind going outside with wet hair!
Weird But True! Canada: Eye-popping books to inspire young Canadian (and non-Canadian) readers
My kids have been longtime fans of the National Geographic Kids Weird But True! series and have become masters of spouting random facts wherever we go. So, earlier this week, when they saw four, shiny, new books awaiting them, they could not wait to dive in!
Instead of the usual mad, after-school chaos, my three youngest (aged 12, 10 and 10) jumped on the couch and eagerly began flipping through the bright-coloured pages for cool facts to swap. The thick, glossy paper easily withstands the rigours of small, excited, sometimes-sticky hands. And the vibrant colours, eye-catching text, beautiful photographs, and punchy tidbits make it fun and easy to read, even for the most reluctant bookworm.
Naturally, they noticed the blingy covers of Weird But True! 2 and Weird But True! 10 right away. In celebration of the original Weird But True! series hitting its milestone 10th anniversary, the 1-10 series has been completely updated with new, sparkly covers and 50 more facts to keep young readers coming back for more. (This they notice, but ask them to pick up the socks lying two inches from the laundry hamper? Suddenly blind.)
We also had the chance to read through Weird But True! Christmas — did you know Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was almost named Reginald? — and, of course, my personal favourite, Weird But True! Canada — the first country-specific book in the series — where we learned a Toronto bookstore has a vending machine that dispenses random old books and Canadians eat more than 12 kilograms (26 lbs) of cheese every year, on average. (Hello, fondue night!)
How to enter the Weird But True! Canada contest
There are now more than 25 total books in the Weird But True! product line. With 300 facts in each book, I guarantee your kids will be testing your knowledge faster than the time it took for a team of 10 people to shuck 8,800 oysters at a competition on Prince Edward Island (which was one hour.) Our kids love these books purely for the entertainment value. So much so, they don’t even realize they’re learning.
National Geographic Kids wants your children to get in on the Weird But True! fun. Kids ages 6-14 (legal residents of Canada (excluding the Province of Quebec)) are invited to enter the Nat Geo Kids WEIRD BUT TRUE! Canada Contest*! Your child must submit their own verifiably weird but true fact about their hometown, province, or country at natgeokids.com/wbtcanada by March 1, 2019. (Full contest rules are available on the website.)
If their fact is featured on the National Geographic Kids website next May, they will win two books: Weird But True! Canada and Weird But True! 10.
Fun links and where to purchase Weird But True! books
The fun doesn’t stop there, though. The Nat Geo Kids YouTube channel is the dream of every curious, young mind. Scroll down for a list of select play lists that will entertain and educate your young Einstein (within the allotted daily screen time, of course.)
Also, don’t forget to download out the Weird But True! app for fun on-the-go. And if you’re looking to add to your child’s home library, National Geographic Kids Weird But True! Canada is available at Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart, Amazon, independent bookstores, and wherever books are sold.