Primary Genre(s): Children’s Nonfiction
Published: 7 July 2020 by DK Children
Page count: 144
My Format: eARC via NetGalley
Pacing: Not Applicable
Ending: Not Applicable
Would I recommend it: Absolutely
Commission Link: Buy Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World’s Most Ingenious Inventions
My rating: ★★★★★
Synopsis from Goodreads
Step into Leonardo da Vinci’s workshop, relax on board Hideo Shima’s speedy bullet train, and join movie star Hedy Lamarr to bounce ideas around in between takes. Inventors looks at the towering achievements of more than 50 inventors in great detail. The stories are as unusual as they are unique. From Mr. Kellogg, who accidentally created cornflakes after leaving grains boiling for too long, to the ancient Turkish polymath Ismail al-Jazari, who decided the best way to power a clock was with a model elephant, to Sarah E. Goode’s fold-up bed space-saving solution–the inventors of this book have all used tons of creativity to find ways to improve our world. These groundbreaking inventions include the very earliest discoveries to modern-day breakthroughs in science, food, transportation, technology, toys, and more.
Each page is packed with jaw-dropping facts, with every inventor’s achievements written as a story. Beautiful illustrations by Jessamy Hawke bring the inventor’s stories to life, and fantastic photography highlights the detail of their designs. With incredible hand-painted cross-sections revealing the intricacies of a robotic arm, the first plane, and the printing press, young readers will marvel at being able to see close-up how these amazing machines work. The inventors come from all walks of life and parts of the world, making this the perfect book for every budding inventor.
What an awesome book! I love it! Here are my pros and cons for Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World’s Most Ingenious Inventions:
- I love DK books. I love the photos, illustrations, little snippets of information that are included here and there on the pages… just everything. DK books are so visual and engaging! I think this is what makes them so accessible and enjoyable! I have owned many DK books over the years, but this is my first DK book for children and it is equally awesome!
- Each inventor is introduced on one or two pages to discuss their backgrounds and what they invented. And, as I mentioned above, there are a lot of awesome illustrations (by Jessamy Hawke) and factoids to help understand the material. Some pages even include quotes from the inventors.
- At the end of the book there are 32 additional inventors with a short 2 to 3 sentence description of what they invented. These inventors didn’t get the full, detailed introduction that the other inventors in the book did, but I appreciated that they were included.
- The book has a very encyclopedic feel. You can use the index in the back of the book to look up a particular inventor and go straight to their page. This isn’t a “read front to back” type of book. You can pop around and read about anyone you’d like.
- There is even a glossary at the end of the book to help with any terms that may be new or difficult for young readers.
- Many entries in this book highlighted the struggles that some people endured to get their inventions recognized – particularly African Americans and females. While definitely late in most cases, it is nice to finally see a lot of these innovative people starting to get the credit they deserve for their pioneering ideas and products.
- There are names most kids will likely recognize in this book (e.g., Wright Brothers, Marie Curie, Louis Braille, Alexander Graham Bell, Alfred Nobel, Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, etc.), but there are many more they probably haven’t heard of. For example:
- Maria Telkes – Invented solar stills and designed a solar-powered house, oven, and drinking water device. She was a pioneer in renewable energy resources.
- Stephanie Kwolek – Inventor of Kevlar (used in bulletproof vests) and 27 other inventions during her 40 years working for DuPont.
- Patricia Bath – First African American female doctor to receive a medical patent when she invented the technique to remove cataracts with lasers.
- John Harrington – Inventor of the first flushing lavatory/toilet back in the late 1500s. He even installed one for Queen Elizabeth I and dubbed it the “throne”.
- Thomas Crapper – Improved the toilet design, including inventing the S-bend pipe fitting that trapped smells. And yes, his name really was Crapper.
- Lizzie Magie – Inventor of a game called “The Landlord’s Game”. Her game was stolen and copied by a man named Charles Darrow and he sold it for one million dollars – it is now known as Monopoly.
I could go on, but you should discover and read about these people yourself. Each entry is unique, interesting, and fun to read. There are over 60 inventors with individual pages dedicated to their genius, as well as many other inventors mentioned in snippets throughout the book.
- The book includes inventors and innovators from hundreds of years ago all the way to present day.
- Almost every single one of these inventors have something in common – they learned from their failures and never gave up. That is so inspiring and a great message for anyone!
- I did find a few typos and punctuation errors in the book, but this is an ARC and it did not affect my enjoyment of the book in any way.
I used to read our set of Encyclopedia Britannica when I was a kid. Yes, I was THAT kid! I loved reading about people, and things, and products, and places… anything really. I grew to love the encyclopedia format – short, concise entries that gave me enough information about a particular topic to increase my knowledge a bit. Therefore, I know I would have absolutely LOVED this book about inventors when I was younger! I would have read it cover to cover multiple times and been inspired by these amazing men and women (and some kids!) from all walks of life.
I definitely recommend this book. The target age is noted as 7 to 9 years and I think it would be an informative and fun book for any child to read, but I’d particularly recommend it to any child with an interest in STEM fields. I’d actually recommend it to adults, too! I quite enjoyed reading it.
Thank you NetGalley and DK Children for a free eARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy Inventors: Incredible Stories of the World’s Most Ingenious Inventions. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
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(image from Goodreads)