Thursday, June 26, 2014
Three Cheers for Inventors by Marcia Williams (Walker Books)
Oh yes, this is something really special! History Girl (Charlotte) grabbed this book from the local library stacks and couldn't wait to dive in. When I was a kid I was always obsessed with how things worked, and more importantly, who were the geniuses behind some of the gizmos we take for granted.
Marcia Williams' book collects together some of the greatest inventors in history, and also pays homage to the lesser known folk who independently contributed to inventions and gadgets that have become part of our everyday world.
Starting off with one of our favourite genius artists and designers, Leonardo Da Vinci, Marcia's exhaustive research, brilliant illustrations and hilarious margin characters guide you through everything from steam power to light bulbs and of course (very important this for booky folk) the printing press.
Charlotte was completely wrapped in this book, particularly a huge section on women inventors and the amazing things they've invented (like all genius ideas, some of them are so simple but so very clever that reading about their origins is both fascinating and fun).
Though this was published in 2006, it's still fairly relevant and up to date so worth seeking out (It's still in print and is a bit of a bargain!) If your own children are history nuts like Charlotte, or if they're just curious to find out how things work and how they came to be, this is an absolutely brilliant and essential read.
Charlotte's best bit: She loved all the little margin 'dragons' and found it funny that people were initially quite scared of television when it was first demonstrated in public.
Daddy's Favourite bit: Detailed, fun, exhaustively researched, lovingly presented, written and illustrated by someone who obviously has a great passion for inventions and gadgets. A really fantastic book in every way!