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Gizmos and Gadgets for Kids of Today and Tomorrow – Book Selections – 05/04/12

Posted on: Friday, May 4th, 2012

Like it or not, kids live in a world of technology.  Our book selections this week focus on that world today and what we might expect that world to look like tomorrow.  Some fun reads and food for thought for kids and adults.

2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids by Amy Zuckerman and James Daly for kids age 6 and up.  “A talking dog, a housecleaning robot, and a three-dimensional “data orb” are among the many cool features that kids might enjoy in the future, according to this lighthearted look at 2030. The breezy narrative follows one boy through a typical day, highlighting many interesting aspects of his world.  Fanciful cartoon drawings show a lively and appealing world full of new and intriguing activities that correspond neatly to modern equivalents. Schools are now made from plasticized blocks that snap together, for example, while recess features virtual batting practice and a “smart trampoline.” Recreational activities include magnetized hovering skateboards and a virtual-reality “Fanta-trek Center.” Some social changes are briefly noted, such as new career paths and the increase of marriages between different ethnicities. Interaction with the natural world is not mentioned, although many of the new technologies have eco-friendly components and the food is all meatless and delicious. Illustrated sidebars provide a bit of additional information or background, but the emphasis here is more on what new technologies will do, rather than how they will work. The one exception to the fun comes in an inset paragraph about overpopulation and starvation in Africa, a jarring bit of realism in this otherwise worry-free existence. The day ends with a neat twist as the boy reaches for his favorite type of entertainment, which the final page turn reveals as “reading a book.”—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.”  Review from Amazon.

Codename: Kids Next Door 2×4 Technology Handbook by Alison Wilgus is for kids aged 7 and up.  “In this top-rated show from Cartoon Network, five kids are on a mission: to free the world from the rule of grown-ups. Their secret team is known as Codename: Kids Next Door. A guide to the KND’s cool gadgets, with instructions for how readers can make their own cool gizmos at home.
“This book, presented by Numbuh Two, has SOME of the KND inventions used in episodes like “Operation: L.I.C.E.” and “Operation: S.H.A.V.E.”, and others you’ve never seen before!  Each gadget, weapon, and vehicle has the inside info on what it’s used for and what it’s made out of for their full potential.  Also, each invention tells quite a story or two.”  Review from Amazon.

Rocket Science: 50 Flying, Floating, Flipping, Spinning Gadgets Kids Create Themselves by Jim Wiese is for kids age 9 and up.  “Blast off into the wacky world of gadgets!  Have you ever wondered what makes airplanes fly, how boats float, or why your doorbell works?
Would you like to build your own flying, floating, diving, spinning, howling, scooting objects?
Are you looking for a terrific science project that moves?
If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then Rocket Science is for you.  It shows you the science behind how things work by teaching you how to build a rocket boat, kaleidoscope, mousetrap car, stethoscope, compass, fruit-powered battery, and lots of other wonderful gizmos.  All of the projects are safe and easy to make out of stuff you can find around your house.

This amazing book covers a wide variety of science topics, including mechanics, air power, water power, electricity, magnetism, chemistry, acoustics, and optics.”  Review from Amazon.

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