Inventions that Could Have Changed the World...But Didn't!
Joe Rhatigan (illustrations by Anthony Owsley)
My rating: ★★★
Date of publication: February 10, 2015
Age: Grades 3 - 6
Themes: engineering, inventions, patents, failure vs. success
The fascinating stories of inventions that could have changed the world, should have made a difference, or would have astounded us all, but for one reason or another, didn't. Some inventions were too wacky, weird, or unwieldy. Other simply didn't work. And still others may be the next big thing...some day. Learn about the inventors, what they thought they would accomplish, and what—if anything—they did accomplish.
This idea behind this book truly is entertaining; there's some pretty wacky inventions out there. But was the book itself all that great? Not so much. The author needs some editing (his writing is pretty tedious for grade-schoolers) and the format should be cleaned up a bit (it felt pretty busy on each page). The illustrations were cute, but sporadic between the actual illustrations filed with US patents. So I don't know that they were totally necessary.
So I don't love it, but I do love the idea and the message behind it. I do love the little extras it has (like web addresses to see things in action, such as Edison's talking doll). It can be funny and enjoyable to look at, and it also encourages kids or aspiring engineers to get ideas and go for it. Give it a try.
Find it at your library or on Amazon
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