What's the Big Idea: Inventions That Changed Life on Earth Forever
by Helaine Becker
Illustrated by Steve Attoe
Maple Tree Press
Suggested Ages: 6 - 12 (But parents, teachers & librarian will love)
Description: This lively book by an award-winning author brings to life the history of human innovation for young readers. What's the Big Idea? focuses on those inventions that help fulfill people's six basic needs: food, sleep, security, shelter, companionship, and good health. Main spreads feature a specific invention such as the wheel and axle, paper, bicycles, or the Internet. Each one starts with a "What’s the Big Idea?" box that explains the problem the inventors were trying to solve. It answers the pertinent questions: Why this invention and why now? "Fast Facts" and "Big Ideas" sidebars give young readers quick blasts of information reference-style. Twelve special spreads scattered throughout the book highlight either a famous inventor or a specific theme. The "Inventor Biography" spreads profile inventors such as da Vinci, Galileo, and Thomas Edison, and summarize their main inventions. Comic strips deliver an added snippet of information and a humorous punch. Helaine Becker's witty, inventive text and Steve Attoe's wonderfully whimsical art make this a book children can enjoy while they learn
Jake's Review: The pictures are hilarious. Everything was educational (Mom's love that stuff) but it was a fun way of learning about things. I think this is a good book to give to my teacher, because when she teaches stuff like this it's really boring. If her classes were like this book I would pay attention more in class. Oh yeah and the pictures and some of the words really made me laugh
Jake's Rating: 9/10
Mom's Review: I love Helaine and I love her books. I don't have to twist Jake's arm to read them and even my book hating hubby likes to look through them. She makes learning fun -- the way it should be. Her style of writing most importantly appeals to boys & we all know how hard it is to get their attention. The illustrations are delightful. I'm not sure if Helaine has any input into the illustrators, but no matter what books we have read by her -- she always gets an illustrator that gets her humor and puts it into pictures. BTW, I learned tons of stuff too and even my know it all hubby learned some things. A must have for every library and middle school classroom.
Mom's Rating: 10/10
I won this (and a whole bunch of other Helaine books) from Owl Kids Twitter contest
It's up for the OLA's Silver Birch: Non-Fiction Award
Note about my Reviews
Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!