Review Blog

Mar 08 2019

Brilliant ideas from wonderful women: 15 incredible inventions from inspiring women! by Aitziber Lopez

cover image

Ill. by Luciano Lozano. Wide Eyed Editions, 2019. ISBN: 9781786037053.
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Themes: Women, Inventors, Inventions, Biography, STEM. Illustrated with cartoon like figures, which children will enjoy, this book presents 15 great inventions that women have pioneered in the 20th century. They are: Car heaters, Monopoly, Disposable diapers, The dishwasher, Domestic surveillance system , Kevlar, Maritime flares, Anti-reflective glass, Wi-Fi, Syringes, Submarine periscopes, Diagnostic tests, Lifeboats, Windshield wipers, and Ebooks, all things that are very useful and have become common place in the modern world.
Each woman has an insert giving her biographical details, then details about why she invented the product and what it was used for. It was fascinating to read about women who invented things that made their home life much easier to manage, and which have lightened the domestic load for women everywhere. Marion O'Brien Donovan invented the disposable nappy using a waterproof nappy cover from the material that parachutes are made from. She went on to invent dental floss and other useful things. Josephine Garis Cochrane invented and marketed a dishwasher. In the medical sphere, many lives have been helped by the invention of the medical syringe in 1899 by Letitia Mumford Geer, and the first diagnostic tests for different diseases by Helen Murray Free.
The illustrations are very humorous and complement the text, giving the reader a very good idea of why the invention was so useful. The humour of the drawings will ensure that not only will readers enjoy the fun, they will remember the circumstances that inspired the invention. The large illustration for the windscreen wiper, 1903, invented by Mary Anderson, shows the frustration of the tram driver, who had to stop the tram and get out and wipe the windscreen, whenever it rained or snowed.
This will be a useful book to have in the classroom or library when children are looking at inventions and inventors, and will inspire many to think about how these women overcame many obstacles to make the world a better place.
Pat Pledger

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