Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
How Nearly Everything Was Invented

How Nearly Everything Was Invented

Fall 2006 Non-Fiction
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Roger Francis Bridgman
Publisher: DK Publishing
ISBN: 0756620775
Hardcover Price: $19.99
In this new, flashy inventory of inventions aimed at youngsters, the little hyperactive hooded characters called “Brainwaves&rdquo who populate every page to introduce invention briefs with wisecracking asides and ta-dum observations—should draw in even a reluctant reader. Though the impish Brainwaves can get to be a little much (think hundreds of Waldos of “Where's Waldo” doing schtick about the world's greatest inventors!), the lot of info mixed with flippant remarks and busy cartooning adds up to 64 large-format pages of historical tidbits is sure to endear the attention-deficit disorder in all of us. And while the “Nearly Everything” in the title overstates the book's impossible mission, there are so many factoids that you hardly care—nearly everything from inventing the compound microscope in 1600 to the first magnetic railway in 2003. Arguably the tidbit approach is a good thing if it invites readers to dive into the deeper end of information on inventions, but you know what they say about a little knowledge.
Don Oldenburg   ©2006 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

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