How Machines Work by David Macaulay (Dorling Kindersley) was announced as the winner of the £10,000 Royal Society’s Young People’s Book Prize 2016, which champions the best science books for under-14s.
The illustrated book, published in October 2015, explains engineering through the adventures of Sloth, who tries to outwit his zookeeper through engineered escape attempts.
Macaulay, who was announced as the winner at a ceremony today (21st November) in Cardif, was selected by a panel of child judges from a shortlist of six books. The shortlist was picked by a panel of adult judges, chaired by Professor Dame Julia Higgins.
Higgins said: “This book isn’t just dry pages about what engineering is. It’s a very exciting story about a sloth that has to get somewhere and in order to get to where he’s going he has to build levers, he has to build bridges. Each of the pages is about how he designs a solution to a problem - just what an engineer must do.”
The other shortlisted titles were: Lift-the-flap First Questions and Answers: How do flowers grow? by Katie Daynes, illustrated by Christine Pym (Usborne), Oxford Reading Tree TreeTops inFact: Level 19: How To Change the World: by Isabel Thomas, illustrated by Esme Lonsdale (Oxford University Press), Project Body by John Farndon (Miles Kelly Publishing), Rebel Science by Dan Green (Red Lemon Press) and The Usborne Official Astronaut's Handbook by Louie Stowell, illustrated by Roger Simo (Usborne).