Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson

Caramel loves to read and review books which are about real things, see his reviews of books on samurai, dinosaurs, knights and castles, and dental health . He also loves building and making things. So it was only natural that when he discovered Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson, in the book bunnies’ home library, he had to read it immediately. Below he shares some of his thoughts on this reference text. Sprinkles is taking notes as usual and asking followup questions.

Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.
Caramel reviews Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.

Sprinkles: How should we start this review Caramel?

Caramel: You just did!

S: Yeah, I did, didn’t I? So what next? What do you want to say about this book?

C: It’s a good book. If you are a bunny who wants to be an engineer when you grow up, this might be the book for you.

S: Why do you say that?

C: The book has a bunch of engineering examples.

S: Yes, the back cover advertises “100 achievements that changed history”. So there are 100 different engineering-related entries in the book, going more or less in chronological order. That means they are listed from the oldest to the newest. Can you tell us a few of your favorites?

C: 65 is Jet Power and it is one of my favorites. But my favorite in the whole book is 73: SR-71 Blackbird.

S: What is that?

C: It’s a spy plane.

S: What does that mean?

C: It means they spy on the enemy. It says it is radar-absorbing, which makes it harder to detect. I also like 82: Stealth Plane, a lot.

Caramel is pointing at one of his favorite entries in Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology: Stealth Planes.

C: And there is 75: Apollo Spacecraft. The NASA program for it was launched in 1961, it says.

S: And there is more information on it on Wikipedia in case others are interested. So each of these entries is about one page, right?

C: Yes. Exactly one page. And there are pictures and I like looking at them. 

S: Then there is text, describing the entry, and telling some of its history, right?

C: Yes. 

S: So what is the first entry?

C: Let me see. First there is some stuff about engineering and applied science. Then they start with 1: Stone Technology. And 2 is Taming Fire. 3 is The First Boats

S: Wow! It goes way back! So how far back does it go?

C: It goes way back. Let me read the beginning of 1 to you:

“Engineering with stone technology is older than the human race. Distant ancestors of homo sapiens (modern humans) began making and using stone tools as long as 3.3 million years ago.”

S: That is a long time ago. To compare, do you remember how long ago the dinosaurs went extinct? 

C: About sixty-five million years ago. I already reviewed a book about them!

S: So dinosaurs were around even earlier. 

C: That’s for sure. 

S: So what is the last achievement they list in the book?

C: 100 is Solar Power. Then there is a long section called Engineering 101: The Basics.

S: What’s in that section? 

C: There is a part named Imponderables where they ask questions like: “Will space planes change transportation?”, “What will graphene do for us?”, “Will we run out of raw materials?”, “Can engineering solve climate change?”, “Can screens replace paper?”

S: Very interesting questions. The one about screens and paper is about books and reading, I think. We still love reading paper books, right?

C: Yes. This book for instance. It has lots of colorful pictures I can look at. 

S: Screens could have colored pictures, too, of course, but holding a book in your paws is a neat experience. So are we done with the review? 

C: Yes. Stay tuned for more Book Bunnies adventures!

Caramel really enjoys reading sections from Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.
Caramel really enjoys reading sections from Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology, edited by Tom Jackson.

Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids

Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids, a collection of three books in one volume:

Book 1: Best Friends Forever! And More True Stories of Animal Friendships (by Amy Shields)

Book 2: The Whale Who Won Hearts! And More True Stories of Adventures with Animals (by Brian Skerry with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld)

Book 3: Lucky Leopards! And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues (by Aline Alexander Newman)

Marshmallow has been reading the Animal Friendship! Collection by National Geographic Kids on and off for a couple years now. Finally she is writing about it.

Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.
Marshmallow reviews Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like nonfiction books about animals, then this might be the book for you. 

Marshmallow’s Overview: This book has three books in one volume:

Book 1: Best Friends Forever! And More True Stories of Animal Friendships (by Amy Shields)
Book 2: The Whale Who Won Hearts! And More True Stories of Adventures with Animals (by Brian Skerry with Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld)
Book 3: Lucky Leopards! And More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues (by Aline Alexander Newman)

In the first two books, there are four stories each, each made up of three chapters. The third book has three stories, each made up of three chapters. That means that there are, in total, eleven stories (all told in a total of 33 chapters) in the collection.

Each story is three chapters long. The stories are all about different animals: there are stories about leopards, apes, dogs, whales, cats, sharks, and so on. In the stories of the first book, there is a friendship between two species of animals that are each unique in different ways. Most stories in the second book are about human interactions with special animals, and the stories in the third book are about people rescuing hurt animals. The stories are all real, and the book contains many colorful photos of the events happening.

Marshmallow is pointing towards an adorable baby harp seal, the protagonist of only one of the many sweet stories in Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.
Marshmallow is pointing towards an adorable baby harp seal, the protagonist of only one of the many sweet stories in Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids.

Marshmallow’s Review: The book cover says that this book is about “Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them”. This description is accurate as these are really heartwarming and amazing stories.  

This is a great read for people and rabbits who like nonfiction books about animals and people. It contains stories that have characters that are all loyal and kind to their friends or companions. 

My favorite book in the collection is Book 1: Best Friends Forever! I like this book because it has my favorite stories. The stories in this book are about animal friendships. The animals are very loyal to their companions who are from a different species, which makes it even more impressive that they are friends. The very first story is about Roscoe the dog and Suryia the orangutan. The second one is about a gorilla named Koko who loves cats. The third story is about a greyhound named Jasmine and the many different animals she becomes friends with. The last story of Book 1 is about Owen the hippo and his friend Mzee the tortoise.

The fact that this book is nonfiction is almost unbelievable since the stories are so unlikely but very cute and adorable. In my opinion this is a very good and well written book.

Marshmallow’s rating: 100%

Marshmallow rates Animal Friendship! Collection, Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids 100%.
Marshmallow rates Animal Friendship! Collection: Amazing Stories of Animal Friends and the Humans Who Love Them by National Geographic Kids 100%.

Caramel reviews Children It’s Time to Meet Your Teeth by Amanda Jones

Caramel had to go to the dentist for a few times this past month and so he has been thinking a bunch about teeth and dentists. As he likes to read about real things, he decided to review a book about teeth and dentists for the Book Bunnies blog. Below he shares his thoughts on Children It’s Time to Meet Your Teeth by Amanda Jones. As usual Sprinkles is taking notes.

Caramel reviews Children It's Time to Meet Your Teeth by Amanda Jones.
Caramel reviews Children It’s Time to Meet Your Teeth by Amanda Jones.

Sprinkles: So Caramel tell me about this book.

Caramel: It’s kind of weird. Teeth are talking to people and they are giving presents to people and stuff like that.

S: So the book represents the teeth as living characters. Right?

C: Yeah, which is actually kind of weird.

S: Why do you think the author would do that kind of thing? Why do you think the illustrator puts faces on the teeth?

C: So kids like the book perhaps? And maybe you might like your teeth more and take better care of them?

S: Yes, I think that is a good reason. Does it work? Does the book make you think about your teeth more kindly? Does it make you want to take better care of them?

C: Kind of. The book also tells you why you should take better care of your teeth. Tooth decay looks bad and can really hurt. And decayed teeth are called dental caries. You also learn that brushing with brushes with soft bristles is better.

S: Yes, there is a tooth being brushed with a brush with hard bristles and it doesn’t look happy, does it?

C: It looks kind of mad actually. Sad and mad at the same time.

Caramel is reading Children It’s Time to Meet Your Teeth.

S: So what else can we say about the book?

C: Every page has a picture. It’s kind of a picture book, all pictures and only some words. And at the end there is a word search puzzle you can do that has a lot of tooth-related words that the book mentioned earlier.

S: So this is a teaching book, right? It’s teaching you something?

C: Yes. The teeth on the front cover look kind of like ghosts!

S: Yes, they kind of do! On the cover we also see that the author Amanda Jones is an R.N. Do you know what that is Caramel?

C: Nope. But let me look it up… Hmm, apparently it means “registered nurse“.

S: Why do you think the publisher put the author’s credentials on the front cover? That is, why do you think they wanted the reader to know the author is a nurse?

C: Probably a nurse would know more about our teeth and health stuff than random people?

S: Yes, exactly. They are trying to tell us that the author is knowledgeable, an expert in the health field. Does that make the information in the book sound more convincing?

C: Yep.

S: So let us wrap this up. What’s the last thing you want to say?

C: Good bye! And don’t forget to brush your teeth! And stay tuned for more reviews from the Book Bunnies!

Caramel enjoyed learning more about teeth in Amanda Jones' Children It's Time to Meet Your Teeth.
Caramel enjoyed learning more about teeth in Amanda Jones’ Children It’s Time to Meet Your Teeth.

Marshmallow reviews Make Your Own Optical Illusions by Clive Gifford and Rob Ives

This week Marshmallow reviews a neat activity book written by Clive Gifford (text) and Rob Ives (paper engineering): Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do.

Marshmallow reviews Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do by Clive Gifford and Rob Ives.
Marshmallow reviews Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do by Clive Gifford and Rob Ives.

Marshmallow’s quick take: If you like books that are about optical illusions and how they work, then this might be the book for you.  

Marshmallow’s Overview: This book is about optical illusions and what makes them so convincing that they fool your brain and eyes in to thinking that something looks different than it actually is.

There is a large variety of optical illusions in the book. At the beginning we learn about literal illusions, cognitive illusions, and physiological illusions.

“Literal illusions simply use one type of object to trick your brain into thinking it is viewing a different object or scene. Cognitive illusions occur because of the way your brain judges and decides on the information sent to it by the eyes. Physiological illusions are designed to exploit the limits of your body and vision system.”

This page from Arizona State University, written by Abigail Howell, explains the difference between these three, in case you want to learn more. There are also neat examples of each in the book.

One of my favorite optical illusions in the book is a physiological illusion called Afterimages. This is where you stare at an image, for example a black light bulb, and then you look at a piece of paper that is white and then you see a glowing light bulb that looks like the light bulb you saw in the book but now the bulb you see is glowing! The reason that this happens is because, according to the book, your special light-detecting cells get tired after staring at an image for a long time, and they send a weak signal so that your brain reads it as the opposite color that the image actually is, thus making the light bulb look like it is glowing. 

Marshmallow is reading up on afterimages, a special kind of physiological illusion.
Marshmallow is reading up on afterimages, a special kind of physiological illusion.

The book has a total of 64 colorful pages of text and examples of illusions. Then there are twenty pages in the back that have cardboard cutouts. You can “press them out” and they come out easily, so you can build your own optical illusions, little hand-held thingies that you can use to fool or trick your brain and eyes into thinking in strange ways. Some of these hands-on projects are things that you spin and then you see a person running. Some of the papers that you can press out are one that are to help you see why one of the optical illusions work.

Marshmallow is proudly showing one of the optical illusion toys she made using the cutouts from Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do.
Marshmallow is proudly showing one of the optical illusion toys she made using the cutouts from Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do.

Marshmallow’s Review: This is a great book which contains many great optical illusions that will definitely fool you. Some are optical illusions that you can build, and some are ones that make your eyes see two images in one picture. The explanations given to explain what is happening in your brain when you get fooled are expertly written so that anyone can understand why you see something that is not on the page.

The authors, Rob Ives and Clive Gifford, have cooked up some great illusions that are really interesting. When these optical illusions are mixed together, they make a mind-boggling illusion book.

This is a hands-on book that includes projects that you can put together by yourself and then amaze your mind. I have only made some of the projects at this point and I am excited to make some more.

Overall Make Your Own Optical Illusions is a great book for all bunnies, especially those who like to play with their minds and hands (or paws?).      

Marshmallow’s rating: 95%

Marshmallow rates Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do by Clive Gifford and Rob Ives 95%.
Marshmallow rates Make Your Own Optical Illusions: 50 Hands-On Models and Experiment to Make and Do by Clive Gifford and Rob Ives 95%.