An Engineer Like Me
by Dr Shini Somara & Nadja Sarell

Zara is an incredibly curious little girl. She loves learning about how things work and her super smart Gran is always on hand to answer her questions.

When they go for a walk to the shops Zara sees lots of interesting things which spark some in-depth conversations. How do lifts work? How can cranes lift such heavy things? How do roller coasters stay on the track when they go upside down? How do escalators run? What is wi-fi for? Her gran patiently answers each question with lots of detail to satisfy the little girls curiosity.

Gran also tells Zara about some famous engineers who have helped shape the world we live in, including Leonardo Da Vinci and Rahman Khan. Zara is particularly interested in the story of Alicia Boler-Davis whose childhood was very similar to hers. She loved problem-solving and fixing things as a little girl and went on to work as an Engineer at the General Motors car company.

The last stop on their journey is the airport, where Gran shows Zara an enormous plane and explains to her how it lifts off the ground and stays in the air. How does Gran know so much I hear you ask? Well it turns out she’s an Engineer who designs planes. Fabulous!

Ivy is fascinated by science so this story has been a big hit with her and I have to admit it has taught me a few things too! The author manages to explain complicated themes in a really engaging and child-friendly way and I love that there are little diagrams where the different working parts of the machines in question are labelled.

It’s fantastic to see a young girl and an older lady feature front and centre in a STEM book, especially women of colour. Highlighting the importance of problem solving and critical thinking, the story will help children see that they are able to pursue a career in engineering and that one day they might even help change the world!

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Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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