School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-These books explore different types of engineering marvels throughout the world, their functions, materials, and construction technologies, with brief citations for important historical and contemporary examples. Thirteen two-page chapters framed in a busy overlay of illustration, colored captions, sidebars, and page borders appear in each one. Occasional diagrams clarify key concepts; full-color photography complements the texts. Unfortunately, simplistic or clumsy descriptions abound; in Skyscraper readers are told that from the tops of tall buildings, "people in the streets below look like tiny ants." From Stadiums, "[Stadiums] must be used to pay back the hundreds of millions of dollars they cost to build." On the bright side, numerous useful "Try This" sidebars suggest practical demonstrations to enhance understanding of relevant physical principles. The series is well suited to younger or reluctant readers looking for overviews on the subjects rather than for research material on a particular structure, and for those more tolerant of its punchy presentation style. David Macaulay's Building Big (Houghton, 2000), notable for its detail as well as for its wide scope, is recommended for more sophisticated or experienced student researchers.-Mary Ann Carcich, Mattituck-Laurel Public Library, Mattituck, NY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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