School Library Journal
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Gr 4 Up-The popular "guide to the workings of machines" (Houghton, 1988) has been updated to include the digital world. Of the 80 new pages advertised on the cover, 60 are found in the added section on computer technology. Very few items (parking meters and bicycle brakes) have disappeared into obsolescence, a few new ones have appeared (camcorders and airbags), and cosmetic changes are evident throughout in the enhanced color printing. The features that made the first edition a publishing phenomenon remain. Macaulay's clear and comprehensible drawings are accompanied by Neil Ardley's explanations, and in this edition the technical writer gets credit for his expertise on the title page. The bemused woolly mammoth of the original edition continues to demonstrate his prehistorically simple ideas on such concepts as heat, pressure, fire fighting, sending messages, etc., adding whimsical entries to entertain browsers. While much of the material remains unaltered, the significance of computer technology in our world makes this new edition a vital update or new purchase.-Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
Gr. 6 and up. In this revised edition of a fascinating 1988 introduction to modern machines, the artwork appears more vivid, and the text has been updated (for example, the record player is termed obsolete; the self-winding watch has been added). The first four sections (and "Eureka," the historical roundup of machines), however, are much as they were in the first book. The biggest change is an added section, "Digital Domain," which incorporates information on computers, some of which was presented in the earlier edition, and greatly expands on it, including explanations of a number of other digital-based devices--from the scanner to the compact disc player. Like the other sections, the new one is a ready combination of text bytes, labeled cutaway diagrams, and the occasional cartoon appearance of a woolly mammoth who functions as spectator, test pilot, and guinea pig to demonstrate the laws of physics and machine technology. The emphasis on the visuals makes the science easier to grasp as well as fun to browse. A sure bet for both adult and juvenile collections. --Stephanie Zvirin