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Appropriately called 'First Technology' these are super new titles for the infant classroom. The quality of the colour photography is very high but the particular strength of the series lies in the questions that the reader is asked. All too often in information books banal questions are used as an alternative to an explanatory text but here the questions probe, challenge and also explain. By answering why a paper bucket is not a good idea, the child is being introduced to the concept of materials.
Of these two new titles Tools is the more effective, with the everyday experiences of children used creatively to show both the purpose and value of tools - from pliers to knitting needles. There is an element of humour on some pages including a touch of the absurd (using a garden fork to eat spaghetti).
The strength of Machines comes from the way it shows machines of every type, shape and size - from sports car to deep fat fryer. An introduction is given to power supply whether it is clockwork, electricity or pedal power.
These are excellent titles for classroom and home use and include suggestions for parents and teachers for further development of the concepts covered.