Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Inventions by Glenn Murphy

Title: Inventions
Author: Glenn Murphy
Copyright: 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing
ISBN: 1416938656

An Insiders book


Reinventing the Way We Learn and the Way We Teach - 5 stars - a book review

INVENTIONS was the complete package. It is a beautifully illustrated book with just enough information about various life changing inventions to let the reader understand the basic principles and how the inventions are utilized by humanity. Each invention featured was not overly discussed and analyzed with minutia that could have lost some readers (especially younger readers) but therein lay the true beauty of this book: it inspired me to want to learn more about each invention.

This is the perfect book for anyone of any age with an interest in science or a curiosity of how things work. It is the perfect gift for young children because it speaks on a level of which anyone can relate.

Reading this book reminded me of one of my favorite books in grade school: THE WAY THINGS WORK simply because of the graphical concept, ease of reading, the feeling of empowerment to know something special, and the desire to learn more. Is that not something that should be on every child's bookshelf? If you are looking to stimulate the mind of your child or are looking for a way to spend quality time in an educational setting with your child, this is a perfect tool for initiating those moments and those conversations.

My only reservation about this book is that I felt adding to the introduction a brief overview of simple machines (i.e. lever, pulley, wheel, etc.) was necessary and would have been a great way to explain how machinery works on the fundamental level. Throughout INVENTIONS the author makes note of simple machines, but not in a way that transpires the individual invention on that page.

Inventions covered in this book include: the wheel, sail, clock, windmill, printing press, telescope, engine, camera, train, music player, power station, telephone, submarine, automobile, airship, airplane, radio and TV, computer, rockets, surgery, locks and keys, bionics, and the internet.

This book should be on every child's bookshelf for the pure educational and entertainment functions it serves. The only book I have read that is better in these areas is THE WAY THINGS WORK, by David Macaulay.

Good reading and learning,

Plants and Books

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