Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination


Illustrated by Emmanuelle Walker

Translated by Alyson Waters

Discover how bats led to the development of radar, whales inspired the pacemaker, and the lotus flower may help us produce indestructible clothing. "Biomimicry" comes from the Greek "bio" (life) and "mimesis" (imitation)." Here are various and amazing ways that nature inspires us to create cool inventions in science and medicine, clothing design, and architecture. From the fireflies that showed inventors how LEDs could give off more light to the burdock plant that inspired velcro to the high speed trains of Japan that take the form of a kingfisher's sleek, aerodynamic head, there are innumerable ways that we can create smarter, better, safer inventions by observing the natural world. Author Seraphine Menu and illustrator Emmanuelle Walker also gently explain that our extraordinary, diverse, and awe-inspiring world is like a carefully calibrated machine and its fragile balance must be treated with extreme care and respect. "Go outside," they say, "observe, compare, and maybe some day you'll be the next person to be struck by a great idea."


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Seraphine Menu was born in France, close to the sea, in 1990. Shortly after graduating with a degree in Literature she wasn't ready to work in an office and decided to travel the world. She visited China, Mexico, and Cuba; and lived in India, the UK, and Canada. During her trips, she met a lot of people and discovered different ways to live. She started to write stories about what she discovered, about herself, about the people and the nature around them. Because a lot of cultures are putting nature at the very heart of their lives, she had the idea to write a book about biomimicry. Now, she lives in Paris, but continues to travel. She has written a novel for teens and has many more projects to come.