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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inventions, written by Glenn Murphy. Simon & Schuster, 2008. $19.99 ages 8 and up

"Inventions can change the world almost overnight, like the World Wide Web. Other inventions may not catch on for centuries, such as the submarine, which was invented in 1620 but didn't come into wide use until 1900. Look around and consider hwo many things we use every day that had to be invented."

Kids will be drawn to this book by the intriguing cover...

Once inside, there is much to discover about those things created that had never existed prior to their invention. The timeline that precedes the text is just right for young readers. It plots each age in a vertical list beginning with prehistory and moving quickly along to the digital age, each box including the most important tools, machines and technologies for each period of time.

Easily accessed and useful, it is a great invitation to look further and discover more about each age. The first inventors recognized the need for cloth and sewing, weapons, and tools for heat, catching food, cooking and storage. The author then focuses, one page at a time, on the most amazing ideas...beginning with the wheel, sail, clock, windmill, printing press; ending with surgery, bionics, and the internet. It is an amazing ride and will leave its readers much more knowledgeable than when they began the reading.

The amount of information is not daunting, despite the subject. Captions are included to describe each illustration and a timeline is logged at the bottom of the page, showing the invention's development across the years. Very enlightening without being overpowering. Kids will come away from the reading inspired to think of something else that might make life easier.

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