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Children's Nonfiction How Things Work-are Made


How Everyday Things Are Made

illustrated by Bill Slavin

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2005
How Things Work-Are Made
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2005
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2007
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 8 to 12
  • Grade: 3 to 7
  • Reading age: 8 to 12


CDs start out as sand. Blackboard chalk comes from tiny sea creatures. The objects all around us --- every single product in the world --- is made from elements found in nature. Discover how nature is transformed into more than 60 things we eat, drink, play with, wear or use every day.

Technology changes constantly, but the stages raw materials go through to become finished objects remain much the same. On every page of this big book, these processes are described and illustrated step by step. The text and artwork combine playfulness with encyclopedic attention to detail.

This unique and fascinating book will inform and entertain every step of the way. Includes a glossary, index and further resources to help children, parents and teachers.

About the author

Bill Slavin has illustrated over sixty books for children, including Stanley's Party, Stanley's Wild Ride, Stanley at Sea, Transformed and The Farm Team. He lives in Millbrook, Ontario, with his wife, their cat, two rabbits, five squirrels and a family of cardinals.

Bill Slavin's profile page


  • Winner, Red Cedar Book Award
  • Winner, Great Book of the Year, Canadian Toy Testing Council
  • Short-listed, Alberta Children's Choice Rocky Mountain Book Award
  • Winner, Norma Fleck Award, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Information Book Award, Children's Literature Roundtables of Canada
  • Short-listed, Independant Publisher Book Award

Editorial Reviews

Transformed provides illuminating answers to the questions that children ask and that adults forget they've wondered.


A jaunty and enthusiastic foray into how stuff is made.


[F]ascinating picture of modern manufacturing


[L]ively presentation.

School Library Journal

Librarian Reviews

Transformed: How Everyday Things Are Made

How do CDs start out as sand? Discover the stages raw materials go through to become finished objects. The text and artwork blend playfulness with encyclopedic attention to detail.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2006.

Other titles by Bill Slavin