Chris Butterworth (text), Lucia Gaggiotti (illus.) How Does My Home Work?, Walker Books Australia, 1 August 2017, 32pp., $19.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781406363784
This book is the third from the team of Chris Butterworth and Lucia Gaggiotti, following on from Lunchbox: The Story of Your Food and Where Do Clothes Come From? This new title explains, in simple terms, how electricity, gas and water are supplied to residential dwellings.
The illustrator’s style is quite retro, with colours and shapes having a vintage feel. This is especially the case on the endpapers. The colour palette of the pages also reflects this style with most page backgrounds being cream rather than white.
The text gives simple but accurate explanations on how electricity is generated, gas is extracted and water is collected and then on how these are distributed to homes. Then more simple illustrations and descriptions show how internal wires and pipes deliver these to our appliances and lighting and plumbing.
This book would better suit young children as the explanations are not very technical and do not go into great detail. It is a shame that readers are not told that lots of children in the world live in homes where these basic commodities are not available and also that many rural properties and communities are not connected to town water and electricity supplies. However, as a first introduction for young readers to the technology in our homes, it is well-produced, nicely illustrated and coherently written.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage