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The Way Things Work
ISBN 0395428572 / 9780395428573 / 0-395-42857-2
Publisher Houghton Mifflin
List price $29.95
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David Macaulay has made it his business to demystify science and technology for children (and certainly one or two surreptitious adults) with his worldwide bestseller, The New Way Things Work. Packed with information on the inner workings of everything from the World Wide Web to windmills, the remarkable and humorous book guides readers through the fundamental principles of machines. And now Macaulay and his trusty mammoth sidekick are back, ready to make science even more fun and comprehensible. The Way Things Work Kit is a hands-on, fully interactive kit, equipped with everything needed to perform over 50 activities, including the construction of 12 working models. A handy cardboard carrying case opens to reveal a guidebook, a CD-ROM with instructions on how to build your own pinball games, activity cards, and more than 100 basic components that fit together to make models from a balloon-powered car to a robot arm to a fairground ride. Children will be absorbed for hours as they learn about levers and hydraulics, winches and friction, inertia and pneumatics. Future engineers--not to mention just regular humans--couldn't have a better introduction to the way things work. (Ages 8 and older) --Emilie Coulter [via]