It’s not certain who invented Wheels, but their introduction into our lives has been remarkable. Tracey Turner and Fatti Burke show how wheels feature every day, from funfair carousels to colour wheels. Furthermore, wheels are used in more forms of transport than cars. Ships’ wheels enabled the age of exploration.

Meanwhile, spinning wheels meant the action of creating thread was a lot faster than ‘spinning by hand’. However once ‘steam-powered spinning machines were invented- huge amounts of thread’ could be produced.

Furthermore, we realise how a variety of wheels are used in different modes of transport, including those in monster trucks that ‘weigh as much as three African elephants‘! It’s evident the invention of pneumatic tyres in the late nineteenth century made cycling a more comfortable experience!

Wheels is created so fluently and organised really carefully. It presents a lot of interesting information in snippets and anecdotally, and concludes with a fascinating timeline. Bookwagon recommends this title for all non-fiction shelves.

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Cars, cogs, carousels and other things that spin

Words by Tracey Turner, art by Fatti Burke


It’s difficult to consider a world without Wheels. However, they have not always been around. Furthermore there are not many in the ‘natural world to give people the idea’. Therefore, who ever invented the disc with the hole and circle with the axle is very clever. Tracey Turner contemplates the wheel in its incarnation in this fascinating title. Thereafter, we begin with this form in the pottery studio, where huge great pots have been formed for more than 2000 years.
We consider life before the wheel, when everything was hauled. Is it possible that moving freight over logs inspired the invention?
Spokes within a wheel meant faster motion, such as employed by chariots, while waterwheels were first invented more than 2300 years ago, harnessing ‘the power of flowing water to do all sorts of useful jobs’.
This book is organised accessibly and fluently. Furthermore, the information is engaging. Fatti Burke’s anecdotal asides are interesting and amusing. Tillers were used in the first cars until it was realised that there was a faster method available for steering! What a lot to learn and share!


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