How Nearly Everything Was Invented

Jilly MacLeod, Author, Lisa Swerling, Illustrator, Ralph Lazar, Illustrator , illus. by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar. DK $19.99 (61p) ISBN 978-0-7566-2077-6

Creatively designed and playfully illustrated, this large-format volume rounds up a wide range of information and covers more than 300 inventions. Energetic hooded characters called Brainwaves usher readers through the labyrinthine pages and provide an ongoing, amusing commentary. The book's centerpieces are six double gatefolds, each focusing on a major invention—the lens, steam engine, light bulb, internal combustion engine, transistor and gunpowder—which explain the steps leading up to the inventions and how they inspired subsequent developments. Nestled among the gatefolds are spreads devoted to famous inventors; "fascinating firsts," including the first artificial heart, false teeth and blue jeans; such "fabulous flops" as the amphicar (a "car that swims"), a steam-powered aircraft and de Groof's birdlike parachute machine; plus such possible future phenomena as space hotels, solar cars and human cloning. Whimsical design elements emphasize the interconnectedness of one scientific breakthrough with another; "Fascinating firsts," for instance, shows one group of Brainwaves extending a wall from another group. A fact-filled timeline (featuring momentous inventions, architectural feats and historical, cultural and scientific milestones) and a glossary wrap up this enlightening expedition. Ages 8-up. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 08/28/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Paperback - 61 pages - 978-1-4053-2978-1
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