Revealing looks at the science behind over two dozen vehicles, household appliances, technological gadgets, and recreational challenges.
This arbitrary assemblage of high-interest topics—most but not all tech-related—is more portable than the hefty National Geographic Science of Everything (2013) but also more scattershot. It targets younger enquirers with a combination of loud graphics, eye-catching digital images or composite photos (chortles an elephant on a bicycle suspended in midair: “And Dumbo thought HE got air!”), and mixes of quick facts with longer, reasonably specific explanations of processes and physical principles. Subjects encompass hoverboards and invisibility cloaks in the “Beam Me Up” section, toilets in “Home Is Where the Fridge Is,” as well as the history and physics of erasers and glues, bicycles, tightrope walking, hybrid cars, copiers (only the 2-D kind, though), and bounce houses. Each of the five chapters also includes a profile of a modern scientist or inventor and an easy-to-do or -modify “Try This!” project. Both in the photos and the digital art human figures show an inclusive mix of ages, genders, and pale but varied skin colors.
Rewarding fare for browsing, but David Macaulay’s The Way Things Work Now (2016) or National Geographic’s aforementioned broader compendium will build sturdier foundations. (index, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 10-13)