cover image Mazie’s Amazing Machines

Mazie’s Amazing Machines

Sheryl Haft, illus. by Jeremy Holmes. Penguin/Paulsen, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-399-54786-7

Haft (Goodnight Bubbala) introduces budding engineer Mazie McGear, a white-presenting red-haired child who relishes solving problems and inventing fantastical machines to help out at home. In a palette of rust and turquoise, polished stylized illustrations by Holmes (The Eye That Never Sleeps) show Mazie’s thought process: “First I turn on my imagination... Then I draw... Then... I build!” Mazie first rigs up a “food-o-matic” to feed family dog Doodle, who eats “so early every morning.” A pulley assembly makes use of Doodle’s natural interest in shoe-chewing to dispense food from atop the refrigerator. More machines follow, including the “Teeter-Lever,” which shoots basketballs and quells conflict with Mazie’s sibling Jake. When the Teeter-Lever inadvertently results in Doodle being delivered onto the roof, the whole family works together, combining the basic principles of Mazie’s machines to rescue the dog, rendered via a pop-up page. Pulsing with friendly energy, this STEM-starter conveys the sense that engineering is something any child can do. Back matter explains the ideas behind Mazie’s machines. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)