Various architectural innovations are featured in this science picture book for children.
Bridges are presented on one spread, with two paragraphs of text opposite a diagram that labels parts but does not show how the forces (“tension” and “compression”) are acting on those parts. The sentences are long, and basic technical terms (such as “pressure”) are not defined, so younger children who are not precocious will need older readers to explain the meaning of the text. Other engineering designs presented in the book are lock chambers for moving boats up and down, column-and-beam structures, and arches, with the Colosseum as an example. The illustrations throughout are drawn on graph paper; filling out the compositions are diverse figures who demonstrate and observe, models of the architecture, and pencils, rulers, protractors, and books. The companion volume, How Do Seesaws Go Up and Down?, presents such simple machines as a wheel and axle, a fixed pulley, an inclined plane, a screw, and a wedge. Again, terms are not defined, and diagrams are of limited use, so the explanations may confuse younger readers. These books can be a decent starting point for deeper investigations, but they do not meet the promise of the titles.
Insufficient as a stand-alone volume; pair with hands-on demonstrations to avoid frustration. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-11)