Curious about constructions? Inside this book, you'll come face-to-face with 50 incredible structures, including: a fire-breathing octopus sculpture; the skateboard ramp you'd need to jump the Great Wall of China; a whole community of tree houses in Costa Rica; and a lifesize X-Wing Starfighter built of Legos. These and many more fascinating accounts of constructions both fantastically useful and gloriously unnecessary await inquisitive readers, aspiring engineers, and anyone who ever looked at a skyscraper and thought, "Yeah, but what if it had a roller coaster on top?"
In the third entry in the Uncommon Compendiums series (following Extraordinary People and Unusual Creatures), Hearst highlights 50 unusual structures, name checking familiar marvels such as the Eiffel Tower, Great Wall of China, and Sagrada Familia but spending much more time with smaller-scale, lesser-known works for example, El Pulpo Mecanico, a "giant mechanical fire-breathing octopus" that makes appearances at Burning Man. Though handsome, Johnstone's modest graphics don't necessarily do much to make the sites seem particularly special, though the wry humor in Hearst's commentary will keep readers entertained: "Most scientists will agree than an experiment is a always success, so long as we learn something. And in the end, with Biosphere 2, we learned that maybe we're not quite ready to colonize Mars." Ages 8 12. Author's agent: Jud Laghi, Jud Laghi Agency. Illustrator's agency: Jelly London.