Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Picture History of Great Inventors

The Picture History of Great Inventors

Gillian Clements
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 9 to 12
Frances Lincoln, 2005   ISBN: 978-1845074395

We are going to take a journey into the past. In fact let us begin practically at the beginning when Man first 'discovered' how to create fire to cook his food and to keep his house warm. It is believed that it took some time to invent news things in those days so long ago because man had few tools and resources. By contrast, today we are inventing new machines, gadgets, and processes all the time. The pace of  'progress' is getting faster and faster with every passing day.

As we turn the pages of this book we move forward in time. We meet Archimedes in 212 B.C as he experiments with water. Next we take a jump to the 1st century A.D. when Hero of Alexandria built the first steam turbine. During the Dark Ages in Europe little progress was made in the world of inventions but this was not the case in the Arab world and in Asia. While Europeans slipped backwards the Chinese invented gunpowder and moveable type.

It wasn't until the late 1300's and early 1400's that Europe was able to pull itself out of the darkness and into the light of the Renaissance. During this time Johann Gutenberg created his printing press and Leonardo da Vinci began investigating water, flight, human anatomy and much more.

The author of this wonderfully illustrated book goes on to tell the stories of inventors right to the present day. She even discusses what we might expect from technology in the years to come. With a timeline on the bottom of every page, this history of the world of inventions covers a great deal of ground introducing readers not only to familiar names such as Edison and Bell, but also to inventors who are not as well known and who worked in far off places long ago. Lots of illustrations on every page make this book accessible to readers of all ages and to especially to those who are intimidated by lots of text. There can be no doubt that this title will help young readers see how interesting history and biographies can be.