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See Inside How Things Work

Author: Conrad Mason, Colin King (illustrator)
Lower Age: 7+
Price: $14.99
Year Added: 2017

Usborne Children’s Books’ See Inside How Things Work is a 14-page illustrated hardback book for children ages six and up. Inside, the illustrations cover all sorts of topics, from construction machines to musical instruments, with several opening flaps on each page to show in greater detail how each object works. Throughout the book, children are encouraged to open those flaps and investigate all the incredible everyday machines. As they progress through the book they learn interesting facts about these everyday machines. Not only does How Things Work teach children about the forces and ideas behind the machines they see in their daily life, it also shows them how these things may be more complex than they originally imagined. Children also have a chance to learn how engineers used basic physical concepts to make those everyday objects work. The book is a great explanation for any curious child who asks, “why do boats float?” or “what makes light bulbs light up?,” or who love learning about the world around them. This book may also spark thoughts about how they might solve other everyday problems!


Engineering thinking and design practices the gift encourages children to do or learn about: Make observations, ask questions about the problem, learn about the problem


Engineering text or context explicitly provided by the gift: Designs of everyday machinery with descriptions on how they work


Additional practices and skills needed by engineers that were addressed by the gift: Critical thinking, creative thinking, design, problem solving


Overall ratings:

  • Children Reviews
    • Rating: 3.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “I liked all of the neat information behind the book windows, because the pictures are drawn nicely. I really liked the page about boats and helicopters!” F, 5
      • “I liked lifting the flaps and learning about how things worked!” F, 5
  • Parents Reviews
    • Rating: NA
    • Feedback: NA
  • Engineering & STEM Experts Reviews
    • Rating: 5.0 out of 5.0
    • Feedback:
      • “This book is a fun, interactive way for children to learn about simple machines and how they work.”
      • “It really does a great job of teaching the basics of many things that engineers do extensive work on. A very great introduction to engineering for children!”
      • “This book promotes engineering thinking and design, because it shows many systems and machines in the world and how they work.”