I could have just as easily listed MacAuley’s “Pyramid” here. Both of these books loom large in my memories of childhood. There are others, too, depicting with MacAuley’s meticulous and signature style the inner workings of subways, cathedrals, and other complex human endeavors, and they’re all priceless. But this is the one I remember the most clearly, the book I remember using a template for my own earliest attempts to draw crenellations and mortared window frames, parapets and other castle architecture that attempted to show dimension and perspective. Flipping through these pages is a trip into the past - medieval and my own. I loved learning how our ancestors built such impressive edifices, and how the people who lived while they did so.
MacAuley’s books - including his “How Things Work” are essential reading for any kid. Heck, most adults would probably enjoy them too.