Ultrawild by Steve Mushin

Ultrawild by Steve Mushin – at a glance

The School Reading Lists’ five word review: Non-fiction, science, inventions, planet-saving, nature.
Children’s book title: Ultrawild: An Audacious Plan for Rewilding Every City on Earth
Children’s author: Steve Mushin.
Children’s illustrator: Steve Mushin.
Genre: Non-fiction.
Published by: Allen & Unwin Books
ISBN: 9781760292812.
Recommended for children aged: 9+.
First published: Hardback November 2023.
This children’s book is ideal for: Inspiring planet activists.

Ultrawild by Steve Mushin

To see the latest price or order, click on the book cover image.

Our review:

Ultrawild is a fascinating and unique book. It is subtitled ‘An audacious plan to rewild every city on Earth‘ and the inventions and ideas it contains are innovative, bizarre and (just about) feasible.

Author Steve Mushin is an industrial designer and inventor, working in Australia and New Zealand. He is passionate about the environment and fights against the doom-mongering that presents climate change and ecological destruction as inevitable.

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The book presents an inspiring vision of a new world. It features over a hundred yet-to-be-created but scientifically plausible inventions, that are designed to both save and vastly improve the planet.

Could we CRUSH climate change by transforming every city on Earth into a jungle?*
* Or whatever other type of ecosystem it was before humans trashed it.

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Ultrawild is jam-packed with ideas to inspire future inventors and scientists. Highlights include:

  • Compost-firing cannons (not a chapter to read while eating!)
  • 3D solar-printed giant birds
  • Chicken-powered self-replicating roof gardens
  • Methane-powered airships for cows
  • Sewer-dwelling submarines

A full ‘inventions catalogue’ is available on the author’s website: ultrawild.org. This fascinating website includes scientific logs, calculations, references and extra illustrations.

The ideas in this book involve SKYSCRAPER- SIZED biorobots, LUDICROUS building modifications and the release of SAVAGE CARNIVORES into suburbia – amongst many other COMPLETELY ABSURB-SOUNDING and ALMOST CERTAINLY TERRIBLY DANGEROUS concepts that may terrify very boring people.

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This is not a book to be quickly flicked through. The wealth of information on each page deserves close reading to fully ingest the possibilities that Mushin presents. Many of the pages require turning the book 90 degrees to read all the details and diagram captions.

As bizarre as many of his inventions sound, Mushin presents logical arguments and scientific research to back up his incredible designs. The world he presents may be implausible but it is far from impossible if we are truly serious about saving the planet.

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The book’s large-scale format and shiny cover will give it instant shelf appeal. The intricate line drawings, multiple speech bubbles and graphic-novel-style presentation will grab the attention of both confident and reluctant readers.

Ultrawild is an innovative book that will appeal to future scientists and all those who are determined to never give up on saving our planet.

Many thanks to Allen & Unwin for the review copy.

To order a class set of this book, please click below to order via uk.bookshop.org, an organisation that supports local bookshops, or Amazon.co.uk.

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If you like Ultrawild by Steve Mushin you might also like: our reviews of Super Space Weekend: Adventures in Astronomy by Gaëlle Alméras, Britannica All New Children’s Encyclopedia edited by Christopher Lloyd, The Extraordinary Elements by Colin Stuart, A Trip to the Future by Moira Butterfield and I Ate Sunshine For Breakfast by Michael Holland.

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About Melanie Dillon

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Melanie has a Master’s degree in Information and Library Management; a Post Graduate Certificate in Children’s Literature focusing on the Reading Agency’s Reading Well scheme & LGBT YA fiction, and extensive experience working in school and public libraries. Linkedin | Reviews by Melanie Dillon