Invented By Animals

Invented by Animals
Christiane Dorion and Gosia Herba
Wide Eyed Editions

Animals have pretty much taken over in this book – there’s even an introductory ‘Dear Reader’ letter typed by a frog pointing out that many techniques, designs and ‘superpowers’ used by animals have been the inspiration for human inventions or lie at the heart of future technological advances that are works in progress. Thereafter, it’s left to the various creatures to do the talking.

For instance there’s the shark whose skin was mimicked in super-fast swimwear that was ultimately banned after too many records were broken in the 2000 Olympics; the slug with sticky slime that is behind a super-strong glue that may well be used to mend wounds both inside and outside the human body.

Another creature helping humans in their exploration of post surgical wound closing is the prickly porcupine with its antiseptic-coated quills.

Readers also meet the super fast flying, amazingly clever hovering dragonfly whose abilities in the air are behind the invention of a little four-winged drone, as well as the woodpecker with its thick skull and shock-absorbing bones, the design of which is being copied by technologists endeavouring to make safer helmets for cyclists and others who need protective headwear.

The engaging manner through which Christiane Dorion conveys a wealth of STEM information will likely appeal to primary readers, as will Gosia Herba’s bright playful illustrations. There are lots of potential cross-curricular links: I particularly like the way many of the animals encourage child readers to think both creatively and critically in this fun exploration of biomimicry.

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