The New Way Things Work Hardcover – Oct 1 1998
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"Is it a fact--or have I dreamt it--that, by means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time?" If you, like Nathaniel Hawthorne, are kept up at night wondering about how things work--from electricity to can openers--then you and your favorite kids shouldn't be a moment longer without David Macaulay's The New Way Things Work. The award-winning author-illustrator--a former architect and junior high school teacher--is perfectly poised to be the Great Explainer of the whirrings and whizzings of the world of machines, a talent that landed the 1988 version of The Way Things Work on the New York Times bestsellers list for 50 weeks. Grouping machines together by the principles that govern their actions rather than by their uses, Macaulay helps us understand in a heavily visual, humorous, unerringly precise way what gadgets such as a toilet, a carburetor, and a fire extinguisher have in common.
The New Way Things Work boasts a richly illustrated 80-page section that wrenches us all (including the curious, bumbling wooly mammoth who ambles along with the reader) into the digital age of modems, digital cameras, compact disks, bits, and bytes. Readers can glory in gears in "The Mechanics of Movement," investigate flying in "Harnessing the Elements," demystify the sound of music in "Working with Waves," marvel at magnetism in "Electricity & Automation," and examine e-mail in "The Digital Domain." An illustrated survey of significant inventions closes the book, along with a glossary of technical terms, and an index. What possible link could there be between zippers and plows, dentist drills and windmills? Parking meters and meat grinders, jumbo jets and jackhammers, remote control and rockets, electric guitars and egg beaters? Macaulay demystifies them all. (Click to see a sample spread of this book, illustrations and text copyright 1998 David Macaulay, Neil Ardley, published by Houghton Mifflin Co.) (All ages) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-The popular "guide to the workings of machines" (Houghton, 1988) has been updated to include the digital world. Of the 80 new pages advertised on the cover, 60 are found in the added section on computer technology. Very few items (parking meters and bicycle brakes) have disappeared into obsolescence, a few new ones have appeared (camcorders and airbags), and cosmetic changes are evident throughout in the enhanced color printing. The features that made the first edition a publishing phenomenon remain. Macaulay's clear and comprehensible drawings are accompanied by Neil Ardley's explanations, and in this edition the technical writer gets credit for his expertise on the title page. The bemused woolly mammoth of the original edition continues to demonstrate his prehistorically simple ideas on such concepts as heat, pressure, fire fighting, sending messages, etc., adding whimsical entries to entertain browsers. While much of the material remains unaltered, the significance of computer technology in our world makes this new edition a vital update or new purchase.
Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
When I was six, I loved the mammoths...and learned about simple machines and airplane wings. When I was in high school, I appreciated the mammoths' wit...and learned about automatic transmissions and transistors. Now that I'm in college, I've read the whole thing, and it's still a great reference book, just as entertaining and informative as it was so many years ago. And the mammoths are still funny.
For kids with insatiable curiosity, "The Way Things Work" can be a great and entertaining resource; for everyone who's ever wondered how their car drives, or why their computer works, or how satellite communications happen, it can be an immensely satisfying read.
The book is divided in five sections:
Mechanics of movement will introduce your child to the inclined plane, levers, wheel, axle, gears, belts, cams, cranks, pulleys, screws, rotating wheels, springs and friction.
Harnessing the elements will give detailed explanation to anything that floats or fly, the pressure power, how to exploit heat and a nuclear plant.
Working with waves will give information on light, images, photography, printing, sound and music as well as telecommunications.
Electricity & automation will cover items that requires electricity, magnetism as well as sensors and detectors.
The digital domain will cover anything from bits and bytes to computers and the tools you now use on a regular basis everywhere.
The invention of machines is a section that will give your historical information about various inventions we now use daily.
Though I find the book might be a little overwhelming for a child who doesn't master reading, this book is packed with interesting information. As I was flipping the pages of the book, I arrived to a page about the toilet tank. As I read it, my oldest son was immediately interested and grabbed the book when I was done.
This book is a good reference for anyone who wants to know how things work. You could have it on your shelf and then suddenly the book is found in the living room opened to a specific page.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I bought this book for my kid's birthday present. My kids like it very much. But when I opened the package, I found the book's cover was broken. A little disappointed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ethel
This was a gift so I can't review the content beyond the quick browse I did but looks very cool. Would get one for myself. Speedy delivery and good pricing.Published 10 months ago by Valerie
My boys have thoroughly enjoyed pouring through this book. They are both the type of kids that want to see how things work and take stuff apart. Read morePublished 22 months ago by S. Johnson
..I was given this book (the first edition) and it transformed and informed my curious mind. I believe it has much to do with my fascination of mechanics and technology. Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2011 by N. Stanley
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