Author: Andrew King
Illustrator: Benjamin Johnston
Publisher: Little Steps (partner publishing)
Comments: This is what happens when an engineer and an architect buddy up on a book! Engibear’s Bridge is the second book in the Engibear series – and is an absolute dream for any teacher introducing built environments to young students.
In the story, the children of Munnagong want a footbridge built so that they don’t have to sit in traffic on the way to school. The Mayor thinks this is a great idea, and sets things in motion for a bridge to be built by the end of the year. The narrative tracks progress, month by month, from initial design to completed project. Along the way the children (and child readers) learn about foundations, clearance heights, construction challenges, rigging, drainage, load testing, and council approval. The inclusion of cross section and long section technical drawings really adds to the appeal of the book, and along with the endpaper maps are sure to pique the interest of tomorrow’s engineers and architects.
The rhyming text is a little stretched at times (eg: deadline / on time) and the text can be a bit hard to find amongst all of the other content on the pages! It doesn’t really matter though because the hero of this book is the concept, not the text itself. This is probably not a book teachers will use to analyse sentence structure, but definitely one they will use to introduce content specific vocabulary (eg: cantilever, galvanised, photovoltaic cell).
Highly recommended for classroom use. Check out the Engibear website here.
Teacher Tip: Sign up for Engineers Australia’s EngQuest program – it’s free for teachers! This book perfectly complements the “Build A Straw Bridge” unit.
*I received a review copy of Engibear’s Bridge courtesy of the author. No payment was received for review and all comments are based on my own professional opinion.