Dr Phil Gates lectures on biology at the University of Durham, UK, and regularly writes for "BBC Wildlife." His other books for children on natural history include "The Aliens Are Coming," "The Amazing World of Plants "and "365 Days of Nature and Discovery."
Gr 4-7-Blending natural science and technology, Gates packs a tremendous amount of information into this large, colorful volume. Through clear, full-color photographs, illustrations, and magnifications, he compares the structure of a tree and a cathedral; suckers on an octopus's tentacles and suction cups; a plant's burrs and Velcro; rose thorns and barbed wire; the nautilus (a primitive mollusk) and a submarine, etc. Some comparisons are a stretch. The author asserts that future inventions will be inspired by nature as humans learn more about the millions of yet undiscovered organisms in our world. This title is more for browsing than reports, although it could certainly be used as a starting point for science projects.æKathleen McCabe, East Meadow Public Library, NY
NSTA RecommendsThis book shows that many of the solutions humans have developed are similar to adaptations in plants and animals. . . . this book would make an excellent resource as part of a unit on human inventions and natural adaptations. It could be used to in spark students' interest in design technology, invention, and engineering. BooklistThe well-chosen images are both inviting and clearly illustrate the points made in the text and captions. . . . This is an informative, appealing look at the connections between natural and human design.