D.E.S.I.G.N. by Ewa Solarz, illustrated by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski

Design of buildings and household objects are one of the last things that I would normally be interested in finding out about.  Thanks to H.O.U.S.E. and D.E.S.I.G.N. written by Ewa Solarz and illustrated by Aleksandra and Daniel Mizielinski I know more about these two subjects than I thought I ever would.  One of the best publishers around, Gecko Press, have translated them into English and published them in New Zealand so we get to pore over these fantastic books and learn about some of the bizarre and fascinating objects and buildings that people have designed and brought to life.

One of the things  I really love about D.E.S.I.G.N. is that the illustrations are appealing to children, but the author hasn’t dumbed down the information.  There are 69 of the most innovative household items from the past 150 years in D.E.S.I.G.N. and I had no idea that most of them even existed. The illustrations are quirky, every page is full of bold colours, and there are diagrams showing you how each object works or is supposed to be used.  There is a handy key at the beginning of the book showing you what each of the symbols mean throughout the book.  These symbols on each page tell you what the object is made of, what it can be used for and which country the designer/inventor is from.  There’s also an index in the back to help you find your favourite objects.

D.E.S.I.G.N. is a book that you can come back to again and again, and discover something new each time.  It’s the perfect book for those inquisitive children, especially boys, who want to know how things work, and adults will love it just as much as children.  One of my top nonfiction books for children of 2011.