Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Built by Animals: Meet the creatures who inspire our homes and cities

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Built by Animals is an illustrated book for middle grade readers showing how human engineering problems sometimes have solutions found in nature. Due out 3rd May 2022 from Quarto on their Wide Eyed Editions imprint, it's 80 pages and will be available in hardcover format. 

This is a fun STE(A)M book with lots of facts about animals and how they can give us insights into engineering, architecture, transportation, materials sciences, and more. Author Dr. Christiane Dorion is an experienced educator and author. She writes clearly and well about the subject and kids will find much of the information engrossing and educational. I would've devoured this book at that age. 

The art by Yeji Yun is colorful and full of small details which will fascinate young kids and which illustrate the engineering and design points well. The animal builders in the book are anthropomorphic and explain the concepts themselves to add a level of fun and whimsy to the experience. Corner banners on each two page spread show the category they come under: construction, materials, shapes, energy, and water. 

The book includes a table of contents and index for convenience. There's also a short fun quiz at the end which invites readers to match awards (best digger, best weaver, best artist, best dam engineer) with the animals in the book who deserve each award. This can be used as a fun activity to facilitate discussions and further learning. 

Five stars, a fine choice for public or classroom library acquisition, and for the home library. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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