The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer


Children - Educational
26 Pages
Reviewed on 11/26/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite

The schools in England have closed for the Christmas season, and Alvin Goode and his family travel to South Africa for the holidays to visit his grandparents. During their journey, Alvin and his sister, Carey, learn about the train, the airport and airplane, as well as the ships at the harbour they see as their plane is preparing to land at Cape Town International Airport. At his grandparents’ house, Alvin learns about the different types of engineering; aviation, mechanical, chemical, marine, electrical and civil.

The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer by Sannette Viljoen is an informative book about engineering for children. It gives a substantial content for kids about different types of this field without making it too complicated. The narrative has an educated tone but is still accessible and friendly to read. I like the honesty that is included through this particular sentence, “Alvin, if you also want to become an engineer one day, you must study mathematics and science at school because engineering is not an easy job to do.” The layout of the content is nicely put and has a good flow for reading. The illustrations by both Marcel Van Rooyen and Viljoen are colorful and eye-catching.

All in all, Viljoen’s The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer is impressive and great reading material to attract kids into engineering and further educate the ones who are already have an interest in this field. This is a commendable work from Viljoen and illustrator Van Rooyen. I highly recommend it to parents and teachers.

Sarah Scheele

The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer by Sannette Viljoen is about a child named Alvin and takes kids through a simple series of explorations of the engineering world around them—sights and sounds they see every day. Alvin is traveling to spend Christmas with his grandparents and is an observant child. He notices the bridges they cross, the airplanes and airport, the harbor from the air as they land. Like every child, he is curious about the things he sees. Once his family has arrived in South Africa for Christmas, people—especially his grandfather, who worked in engineering—explain to him the different kinds of engineers and the skill and work that have created each of the things he’s noticed.

Sannette Viljoen packs a meaty amount of information into this picture book, making it a perfect introduction to engineering for little kids. I think it’s an excellent companion to a child’s natural observations—kids can be reminded of how many times they’ve seen these things as they go around their home and city. Engineering is something they’ve thought about all the time and just never been aware! Alvin’s personality jumps off the page and the light-hearted, cheery illustrations are complete with lots and lots of bridges, boats, trains, and Christmas lights. Topics covered include aviation, mechanical, civil, chemical, marine, and electrical engineers, with succinct descriptions of what each one does. I found this to be pretty useful for refreshing my knowledge as well, as it is both concise and detailed. This well-handled, focused book will certainly help some kids discover that they’re The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer.

Jane Finch

The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer, written by Sannette Viljoen with cover page and illustrations by Marcel Van Rooyen and Sannette Viljoen, introduces the reader to Alvin and his sister, Carey. They live in England with their parents, but in winter it is too cold to go outside and play, so they must stay indoors. They are excited to be travelling to South Africa to visit their grandparents. In South Africa it will be summer time. Alvin is interested in everything on the journey, because he loves to know how things work. He has a train ride to the airport where they travel through tunnels, and then he sees the baggage loaded onto the plane and sees all the lights on the runway. When they arrive in South Africa, he can see all the ships with large containers and the cranes that help unload them. There is so much to see and do even before they reach their grandparents’ home, where they have a big surprise waiting.

There are children who love to read fiction, and children who love to learn, and sometimes there are both. In this story by Sannette Viljoen, children can follow Alvin and his sister Carey on their travels but at the same time learn about the different types of engineers that help to enable their journey from England to South Africa. Granny explains the different types, including Aviation Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Chemical Engineers, and Marine Engineers, and Alvin learns what each engineer does. Alvin loves to build things himself and can now think about the different engineers as he builds his tunnels and bridges with his toys. This story is an ideal way for children that like to build things to think about what they might like to be when they are older, and consequently how important it will be to work hard at school in order to achieve this.

Mamta Madhavan

The Kid Who Wants to Become an Engineer by Sannette Viljoen is an informative book that will introduce children to the various career options available in engineering. Alvin’s school is closed for the Christmas holidays and he is bored sitting at home. It is too cold to play outside and Alvin and his sister Carey are waiting to visit their grandparents in South Africa where it is summer in December. Alvin’s mom tells them that their granddad has a big surprise for them. Granny tells Alvin that he reminds her of granddad who was an engineer, and they explain to him the different types of engineering and what each engineer does. What engineer does Alvin want to become when he grows up?

The topic of engineering has been introduced to young readers in an engaging way. There is a lot of information in the book and the author explains each type of engineering - mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, marine, and aviation - clearly to readers in a simple way, making it easy for them to comprehend. The illustrations do full justice to the author’s words and make the concept exciting. It is a good book to have in one’s personal collection because it can be useful when it comes to guiding children in various engineering options that are available for them to choose from. Tutors and educators can use it in classrooms for discussions on the different types of engineering options in a fun way.