The author of Dreaming Up (2012) and Water Land (2018) returns to structure and nature, this time merging them to introduce the concept of biomimicry. Fifteen tanka, a Japanese poetry format with five unrhymed lines, describe an animal, plant, or natural structure that has inspired humans to invent something similar for their own use. Each double-page spread contains one poem on a page illustrated with textured, digital artwork highlighting the natural element in play, while the facing page bears a color photograph of the architecture or technology created in that element’s likeness. Brief notes accompany the photographs, clearly describing the connection between the paired illustrations. Examples include a bullet train that resembles the quiet, streamlined kingfisher; a smog-absorbing shell of a building that functions like porous sea sponges and corals; and space-saving cars that fold up like armadillos. Concluding thumbnails offer more information on each pair, such as the physical characteristics of animals, building locations, and technology behind inventions. Author’s notes also explain biomimicry and the tanka format in more detail. A true STEAM book.
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