Inventors and Inventions
by Childcraft. (World Book, 1993 ISBN 0-7166-0693-3) Nonfictional Picture Book. Grades 3+.
This review by Carol Otis Hurst first appeared in Teaching K-8 Magazine.
A supplement to the Childcraft How and Why Library, this book is fun to browse through or to read from cover to cover. As with many of the other books produced by Childcraft, this volume gives you an overall picture of the topic; in this case the creative minds that say "what we really need is..." and then set off to make the thing. Many of the inventions covered in this book faded off into well-deserved obscurity, but others like the Band-Aid, the bicycle, not to mention television, became mainstays of our civilization.
There are some related projects for kids to do such as making paper airplanes and time sticks and much of the material is clearly and interestingly presented. Sometimes, however, in an effort to keep it lively, the editors seem to have succeeded in creating confusion. Also, the space creatures' eye view of the development of the bicycle is stretching it a bit. All in all, however, the book deserves its place on the home or library shelf.