The Whizzkid’s Handbook, written by Peter Eldin, was a book intended as a sort of guide to surviving school life. It basically consisted of a host of tricks, dodges, hints and tips to allow you to keep one step ahead of your teachers at all times, and (probably correctly) assumed that every school boy or girl in the country secretly wanted to be Dennis the Menace or Minnie the Minx.
Whilst the majority of entries in the book would probably have had you sent to the headmasters office quicker than a very quick thing, they were certainly all amusing to read and at the very least wish you had the guts to do at school for real.
The kind of things you might find included tips like how to fake an illness to get a day off school, excuses for why you hadn’t done your homework, ways of out smarting the school bully and so on.
There were also some rather amusing fake educational entries, with my favourite being the entry on why fire engines are red, which went something like this:-
- Fire engines have six wheels and six firemen
- Six plus six is twelve
- Twelve inches make a ruler
- Queen Elizabeth was a ruler
- Elizabeth knighted Drake
- Drake sailed the seven seas
- In the seas there are fish
- Fish have fins
- Fins live in Finland
- Finland is next to Russia
- The Russian flag is red
- And that’s why fire engines are red!
OK, some dodgy logic, and sadly no longer true thanks to the Russian flag bit at the very least, but once you’d memorised all that it was one of those great ways of impressing your mates in the school playground.
The book proved incredibly popular, so much so that there were two further volumes published.