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The Very Hard Book
The Very Hard Book

The Very Hard Book

By Idan Ben-Barak, Illustrated by Philip Bunting


32 Pages, 8.27 x 9.92

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $18.99 (CA $24.99) (US $18.99)

Publication Date: June 2024

ISBN 9781760526221

Rights: US & CA

Allen & Unwin (Jun 2024)
A & U Children

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A very silly book that will seriously get kids thinking from the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of Do Not Lick This Book and the award-winning and bestselling creator of Give Me Some Space.

Can you ...

Forget this line?

Dig half a hole?

This book asks you to imagine and think about some things. That sounds easy, right? Anyone can think stuff. You don't even need to be standing up. We shall see. Good luck.

Metacognition is the act of thinking about thinking and forms the basis of all critical thought. It is also a concept that comes easily to children whose inquisitive nature makes them a natural at engaging in abstract questions and open-ended thinking. The Very Hard Book starts that 'thinking' journey and has a great deal of fun in the process.


"Sneakily cerebral for all its apparent simplicity." —Kirkus Reviews starred review of We Go Way Back

"Ben-Barak and Bunting have impressively produced a thought-provoking, scientifically precise, and accessible explanation of the origins of life and evolution across Earth’s history for a young audience." —Horn Book starred review of We Go Way Back

"An engaging, lucidly written volume that’s refreshingly open about the parts of the sequence that remain unknown." Publishers Weekly starred review of We Go Way Back

"Wonderfully informative and entertaining, Ben-Barak's latest is a brilliant read for both general readers and science buffs." —Publishers Weekly starred review of The Invisible Kingdom

"A clever presentation of some basic anatomy by a duo with talented hands indeed." —Kirkus Reviews starred review of There's a Skeleton Inside of You!

"Science at its best: informative and gross." —Kirkus Reviews starred review of Do Not Lick This Book

Author Biography

Idan Ben-Barak writes science books, usually for children; they've been translated into about twenty languages and published around the world. Do Not Lick This Book, which he created with Julian Frost, was an international hit and won the CBCA Eve Pownall Award. Idan holds degrees in microbiology and in the history and philosophy of science, a diploma in library studies, and a day job that has very little to do with any of the above. He lives in Melbourne, Australia with his family. Sometimes, after they go to bed, he plays his guitar a little.

Philip Bunting is an author and illustrator, with a soft spot for creating picture books for sleep-deprived, time-poor, raisin-encrusted parents (and their children). He believes that the more fun the child has during their early reading experiences, the more likely they will be to return to books, improve their emergent literacy skills, and later find joy in reading and learning. Philip's books have been translated into multiple languages, and published in over 30 countries around the world. Since his first book was published in 2017, Philip has received many accolades, including multiple Honours from the Children's Book Council of Australia, and making the list for the Kate Greenaway Medal in 2018.