This is the third in the ‘A World of’ series and this time the incredible world of inventions and discoveries is explored. A World of Discovery provides wonderful lessons in history and STEM all packaged into one superb non-fiction read.
Humankind has been inventing for thousands of years and applying the principles of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) long before the term had become mainstream and fashionable - a quick google will reveal that the term STEM was introduced early in the twenty-first century. Whether it be because of the need to solve a problem, a person’s desire to own something that doesn’t yet exist or an impossible dream that may one day be a reality, people have been inventing things, coming up with ideas and scribbling things down on pieces of paper for thousands of years.
A World of Discovery is a celebration of science and scientific discoveries and is bursting with information. Over glorious double page spreads, thirty of the most significant inventions and life-changing discoveries are presented to the reader. Subject matter is wide-ranging including paper, the water closet, electricity, antibiotics, DNA and space exploration. There is a logical progression to the ordering of the inventions that starts out with the wheel, fire and time, moving onto steam power, the telephone and the radio before indulging readers in the computer chip, the internet and finally artificial intelligence.
Explanations are accessible and understandable for even the least scientifically minded - and I include myself in that category. Ideas and concepts are carefully explained using rich vocabulary and plenty of scientific words whilst at the same time nothing ever feels overwhelming or confusing. Most importantly of all, James Brown and Richard Platt make learning fun and I had plenty of ah-ha moments as I began to understand the workings of a pendulum clock, fireworks and Newcomen’s atmospheric steam engine.
Each spread is completed in a single colour scheme with the utmost attention to detail. One side features detailed text and quotes with the other side featuring labelled diagrams, flow charts and illustrations that explain the workings of everything from a combustion engine to the production of nails to the science of fire and flames to the coding of DNA.
This is a proper grown-up non-fiction book for children and they may well have a fight to keep the book away from their curious parents. Published as a large format coffee-table sized book with a beautiful embossed front cover and printed on thick matt paper, this is one of those books that deserves to be on display.
James Brown and Richard Platt have created a brilliant book that is a must read for any budding scientist or engineer and makes for an interesting read for those who want to further their understanding of some of the most important inventions and discoveries to date. It is sure to please many a curious mind, regardless of age.
Recommended for 9+.