'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday 25 September 2014

Review: Engibear's Dream

Engibear loves his work and he loves to dream – but there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do both! Engibear comes up with a solution – a robot to help him get his work done so that he has more time for other things.

Join Engibear as he works through the process of designing a robot from the first Bearbot prototype through to Bearbot Type Ten in this wonderful picture book that introduces younger readers to the world of engineering and robotics.

Written by engineer Andrew King and illustrated by architect Benjamin Johnston, Engibear’s Dream integrates engineering design processes and information into a very fun and relatable story for late preschool and early primary school aged children. While being entertained by Engibear’s quest to build a robot to help him get his work done, readers also learn about the need to refine and improve on plans, problem solve, learn from mistakes until a final, successful Bearbot is built.

Illustrations are colourful and feature a very friendly-looking Engibear and a bear-shaped robot. For those who want to know more about the technical side of things, in the background are numerous details including electrical schematics, plans for prototypes pointing out where improvements need to be made, and labelled Bearbot diagrams. At the end of the book, drawings of Bearbots 1-8 show what improvement was made with each new model and Bearbots 9 and 10 are drawn in detail with parts labelled and a list of specifications for the final model.

I stumbled across the Engibear books by chance and I’m so glad that I did. There are so few books that offer both an interesting story to engage the average young reader and the kinds of facts and details that children with a passionate interest in engineering and mechanical topics crave. With a mechanically-minded child of my own, I know just how rare books like this are.

Engibear’s Dream is ideal as both a classroom resource and to have on the bookshelf at home.  There is an Engibear website with more information and a second book, Engibear’s Bridge, will be available in late September.

Title: Engibear's Dream
Author: Andrew King
Illustrator: Benjamin Johnston
Publisher: Little Steps, $24.95 RRP
Publication Date: 2012
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781921928901
For ages: 3 - 10
Type: Picture Book