Reading Diary: How Machines Work: Zoo Break! by David Macaulay

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:

More like this

David Macaulay is famous for his "how things work" books. How Machines Work: Zoo Break! is a new book that is really fun. So fun that it took me a long time to get it back from Amanda and Huxley so I could review it. The concept is simple. A story, a simple story, is constructed, that has nothing…
Rall, Ted. Snowden. New York: Random House, 2015. 224pp. ISBN-13: 978-1609806354 For those that have watched Citizenfour or read Glenn Greenwald's No place to hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. surveillance state, there's not much new or shocking in Ted Rall's excellent graphic novel,…
First Second Books has done it again! They've published another wonderful science-themed graphic novel that belongs on every bookshelf. (Of course, they publish tons of other non-science themed graphic novels too. One of my particular favourite recent ones in the biography of Andre the Giant. The…
This amusing book, Kanani K. M. Lee and Adam Wallenta's The Incredible Plate Tectonics Comic: The Adventures of Geo, Vol. 1, is brought to us by the same people as the Survive! Inside the Human Body graphic novel series. As a result it has many of the same strengths but it also suffered from some…