This is the first popup book I’ve ever reviewed and I certainly hope it won’t be the last.
David Macaulay’s How Machines Work: Zoo Break! is a wonderful, whimsical, delightful and beautiful book that will charm and fascinate anyone who picks it up.
Aimed at younger children and told through the eyes of two zoo animals named Sloth and Sengi, it takes a pretty solid engineering approach to the world. It focuses on the core principles of how machines work and cleverly uses a popup devices on many pages to illustrate and even demonstrate those principles. Leverage and levers, wheels and pulleys, screws and gears, drilling down and putting all the pieces together to make a machine. One of the popup pages even lets you build a little lever and fulcrum and launch Sloth over the fence.
Clear and concise, fun to read and play with, this is a great book that I would recommend as a gift for anyone with a child in their lives. It’s pretty enough and clever enough that many adults would appreciate it as well as an objet d’art. As for libraries, it might be a bit fragile for some environments, but it would make a great acquisition for story time. As well, it would be a great addition to collections for libraries at education schools.
Macaulay, David. How Machines Work: Zoo Break!. London: Dorling Kindersley, 2015. 32pp. ISBN-13: 978-1465440129
(Review copy provided by publisher.)
Other science graphic novels and illustrated books I have reviewed:
- Steve Jobs: Insanely great by Jessie Hartland
- The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Computer by Sydney Padua
- Les Rêveurs lunaires: Quatre génies qui ont changé l’Histoire by Cédric Villani and Baudoin
- AsapSCIENCE: Answers to the World’s Weirdest Questions, Most Persistent Rumors, and Unexplained Phenomena by Mitchell Moffit and Greg Brown
- Neurocomic by Hanna Ros and Matteo Farinella
- The Cartoon Guide to Climate Change by Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman
- In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
- Laika by Nick Abadzis
- Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things by Carlos Bueno
- The Incredible Plate Tectonics Comic: The Adventures of Geo, Vol. 1 by by Kanani K. M. Lee & Adam Wallenta
- Climate Changed: A Personal Journey through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
- Shackleton: Antarctic Odyssey by Nick Bertozzi
- It’s Catching: The Infectious World of Germs and Microbes by Jennifer Gardy and Josh Holinaty
- Darwin: A Graphic Biography and Mind Afire: The Visions of Tesla
- Survive! Inside the Human Body graphic novel series
- How to fake a moon landing: Exposing the myths of science denial by Darryl Cunningham
- On a beam of light: A story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne and Vladimir Radunsky
- Primates: The fearless science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Biruté Galdikas by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks
- The Boy who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdős by Deborah Heiligman and LeUyen Pham
- Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
- Feynman by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick
- The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA by Mark Schultz, Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon
- Evolution: The story of life on Earth by Jay Hosler, Kevin Cannon and Zander Cannon
- Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papdatos and Annie Di Donna