Design Like Nature: Biomimicry for a Healthy Planet

Orca. (Orca Footprints). Mar. 2021. 48p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781459824645.
Gr 4-7–This fascinating title takes a deep dive into the wonders of nature. Four chapters are featured: “Inventions Gone Wild,” “Nature As Engineer,” “Asking Advice from Nature,” and “Reducing Our Footprint.” The text makes connections between familiar items, such as comparing the materials in a child’s cocoa mug to the space shuttle’s super-tough ceramic. There are surprising facts: Synthetic fibers won’t decompose for 20 to 200 years and a plastic drinking straw will last 500 years or longer. Readers learn the history of how items were made with natural materials. For example, in Roman times, purple dye was made from snail slime, which was left out in the sun until it turned purple. Present applications of materials are also explained, and the text indicates that there is much more to discover. Readers might have a future job in biomimicry that doesn’t currently exist. Color photos complement the text and depict white and BIPOC children. The back matter includes resources (print, online, and TED Talks), a glossary, and an index.
VERDICT An appealing resource sure to spark an interest in biomimicry, from casual readers to budding scientists. Recommended for all libraries.

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