The Robot Zoo

Philip Whitfield, Author, John Kelly, Author, Obin, Author Turner Publications Inc $19.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-57036-064-0
Slightly reminiscent of David Macaulay's The Way Things Work, this striking book wows readers with its unique take on the animal kingdom. Each page features a small inset of one of 16 creatures, along with an abundance of related facts. But the real focus is on the animal's robot twin-and here Kelly and his cohorts pull out all the stops. Tongues firmly in cheek, they draw cutaway views to show each creature's ""innards,"" and explain, from an engineering angle, the function of each part. The rhino robot, for example, has ""solid casing to protect the computer (very thick skull protecting the brain),"" and ""dual food processors (stomachs)."" The chameleon sports ""protective sleeves for visual receptors (eyelids)"" and ""flat video screens"" that ""show camouflage patterns (skin cells called chromatophores lying beneath skin scales)."" Brimming with detail, meticulously illustrated and enhanced by several gatefolds, this oversized volume will have young readers (and their adult counterparts) glued to the pages as they gain a real appreciation for the marvels of nature's engineering. All ages. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
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