A gallery of gadgets, gizmos, and groundbreaking innovations, from sliced bread to smartphones.
Concept definitely trumps content, as Gifford introduces in no discernible order an arbitrary 100 inventions in a likewise arbitrary 100 words (more or less) apiece. For each, Gu supplies brightly hued representations of a fancifully rendered version, often being used by racially diverse groups of figures sporting stylized features and a range of skin colors. The entries go back to prehistoric times to include the wheel, scratch plow, and writing but mainly comprise more recent innovations like printing and telegraphs, bubble wrap and search engines, lasers and plastics. Amid all these usual suspects lurk some lower-profile picks, from paper bags and Kevlar to the dishwasher and Barbie dolls. All of the inventions in the previous sentence and others besides, the author notes, were invented by women—in fact, for all the brevity of his anecdotes and descriptions, he’s careful to identify specific inventors whenever possible, and he also highlights any who are or were particularly young. Closing timeline notwithstanding, this isn’t offering any coherent picture of the grand sweep of technological advance, but the format will draw casual browsers and collectors of random facts. 100 Things To Know About Art, by Susie Hodge and illustrated by Marcos Farina, publishes simultaneously, taking a similar approach to visual arts, covering periods, media, techniques, and more.
Appealing fare for STEM-centric flipping and dipping.(index, glossary, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 8-11)