By Kirkus Reviews
Some of the best ideas in the world have their origins in nature.
This delicious picture book pairs attractive illustrations of natural phenomena—such as a honeycomb or the way a desert beetle condenses water on its shell to store it for later—with photographs of the human-made creations inspired by them (a hexagonal low-income housing project in Slovenia, a water bottle). Innovative ideas from around the world are showcased: A Chilean park installation that took inspiration from stalactites and stalagmites; smaller, quieter Tunisian wind converters based on the figure-eight motion of a hummingbird’s wings in flight; and a Zimbabwean office building that borrows its heating and cooling arrangement from termite mounds are some of the intriguing innovations humans have adapted from nature (backmatter explains that this is called biomimicry). The text is in the tanka format, a Japanese form of poetry usually without punctuation or capitalization, with a set number of lines and syllables per line—a dynamic choice that underscores the observation and free-association thinking necessary to see the possibilities of the natural world. Two appended double-page spreads offer more in-depth explanations of the topics explored.
Inspiring, lovely to look at, and well presented.