BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

Colossal Paper Machines created by Phil Conigliaro, text by Theo Baker

Colossal Paper Machines by Phil Conigliaro on BookDragonLabor Day already? How about some working fun – literally??!!

The directions are right on the cover: pop out, fold, glue. It really is that straight-forward to create these “10 giants models that move!” They’re not exaggerating on size: the book alone is a few pounds of heavy paper stock and measures almost a foot across, and a foot-and-a-half in height! Hefty entertainment indeed!

To ensure success, creator Phil Conigliaro provides easy-to-follow “Tips and Techniques”: four tools are all you need (glue, tweezers, bone folder, and toothpicks), and the ability to remember Blue, Red, Yellow, because that’s the color-coded order you’ll need to adhere to in order to build each machine to perfect working order. Yep, and work they do: that fire truck ladder lifts, those steam train’s wheels roll, that front loader scooper scoops, those helicopter rotors whirl! As you progress from project to project, the difficulty level increases along, from easy to hard. Challenges await.

In addition to hands-on creation, your brains are sure to be engaged, as well. Since “colossal” might be a big word (ack, couldn’t resist!) for some, writer Theo Baker begins the explicative adventures in the 3rd century BCE on the Mediterranean island of Rhodes, revealing how the Rhodians melted down their iron weapons to honor their sun god Helios … which actually correlates to the creation of these machines. Really. You’ll just have to read for yourself about the ancient inspiration of the”machines almost as vast as our imaginations.”

As for these 10 mighty models – steamboat, dirigible, haul truck, excavator, space shuttle, and more – you’ll get two colossal pages of fun facts, figures, and history to have plenty of ‘did you know?’-moments. Many river steamboats were sold for scrap to fund the Civil War. Aeronauts observed fish swimming in water to get gasbags floating in air. Haul trucks helped finish the Hoover dam two years ahead of schedule. The elevator inventor’s cousin created and built the first steam shovel, aka the world’s first digging machine. The space shuttle needs just 8.5 minutes to reach orbit, but almost two days to get it to launch.

Admit it: you’re intrigued! And well you should be! Colossal, informative fun to be had for sure.

Oh, and parents, take note: NO screens. And NO batteries needed. ‘Nuff said, right?!!

Readers: Children, Middle Grade

Published: 2015