Inventing the wheel

22nd June 2001 at 01:00
WHEELS KEEP TURNING. By Mick Manning and Brita Granstrom. Franklin Watts pound;10.99.

Wheels Keep Turning is the latest in the Franklin Watts series of Wonderwise information books, and a must for small children obsessed with all things mechanical. After an arresting opening - "Long ago an idea began turning in human headsI Like the moon's full faceI", the book takes us on a cheerful romp through the history of the wheel in all its forms, from log-rollers to compact discs and the London Eye.

The information is interesting (did you know, fr instance, that the wheelbarrow was invented in China?) and sufficiently simple to spark ideas and connections in young minds.

Reading aloud from these kinds of double texts, with a main narrative plus additional nuggets, can be quite taxing: how often do you break the flow of the story-line to delve into the facts? And one might also quibble with the historical dateline here, which jumps about more than necessary.

But the book's abundant energy is its main attraction, and should have children coming back for more. DH


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