Archive | March 14, 2022

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything











The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer

Mara Rockliff

Daniel Duncan

Walker, 2022

48pp., hbk., RRP $A27.99


A century ago, as Britain emerged from the horrors of World War I,  Beatrice Shilling wasn’t quite like other children. Instead of spending any pocket money on sweets, she bought tools. She could make anything. She could fix anything. And when she took a thing apart, she put it back together better than before. When Beatrice left home to study engineering, she knew that as a girl she wouldn’t be quite like the other engineers – and she wasn’t. She was better. Still, it took hard work and perseverance to persuade the Royal Aircraft Establishment to give her a chance. But when World War II broke out and British fighter pilots took to the skies in a desperate struggle for survival against Hitler’s bombers, it was clearly time for new ideas. Could Beatrice solve an engine puzzle and help Britain win the war?

This is the intriguing story of a remarkable woman whose dismissal of other’s opinions about what women should/could do, and whose ingenuity, persistence, and way with a wrench (or spanner) made her quite unlike anyone else, adding to the growing list of remarkable women whose ground-breaking stories are only just being told. For even though she changed the course of the war and was awarded an OBE , she retired 20 years later never having held a top post in the Royal Aircraft Establishment because even then in 1969, those jobs were only awarded to men.  Shilling is another woman to introduce students to when they are looking for heroes to investigate and model, and because this has a clear explanation of the problem with the Hurricanes and Spitfires and how it was solved, it will appeal to those with an interest in engineering and mechanics as well.  

An extended biography and selected resources for further exploration round out this amazing story. 


Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life

Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life

Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life














Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Life

Prof. Anusuya Chinsamy-Turan

Angela Rizza & Daniel Long

DK, 2021

224pp., hbk., RRP $A39.99


Usually, when you flick through a book about dinosaurs you see familiar names like triceratops, stegosaurus, diplodocus and of course, tyrannosaurus rex.  So imagine how excited your dinosaur fans will be when they see names like araucarioxylon, plioplatecarpus and pachycephalosaurus and the fun they will have not only getting their tongues around the names and showing them off to friends, but finding out what these creatures were!

Starting at the beginning of life on earth, the reader is taken on a journey through the development of life starting with the forms that developed in water and then moving on to the plants and animals that moved onto land. Whether they’re scary fish, gigantic insects or the largest dinosaur or their descendants, this is a fascinating expedition that culminates in the emergence of the earliest humans.

For decades DK have had the best reputation for delivering quality non fiction for young readers and this is no exception.  As well as building on the interest that might have been sparked through studies of how the Earth began, it also moves the reader on to a bit more detail than your usual texts for this age group with each topic having a double-paged spread with lifelike illustrations with photos and then a thorough set of support pages including a diagram of the Tree of Life so it’s easy to see where everything fits in, a pronunciation guide, a glossary, and a visual index.

A peek inside...

A peek inside…

This is one that will be treasured by those with an interest in life on this planet, particularly if they also have access to the new children’s version of  On The Origin of Species so they can see how it all fits together. (It will also be loved by those who want to borrow the heaviest book in the library…)