Review: Wonky (A Robotics Club Story) by Darcy Pattison

Wonky: A Robotics Club Story

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“A delightful story of friendship and teamwork.” Dori Hillestad Butler, Theodore Geisel Honor Award for King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats, and Edgar award for The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy

Howie ambles into robot club hoping to find a friend. But when Lincoln bounds into the room, Howie hides. The strange new bird is too big and fluffy. The teacher, however, puts the unlikely pair together. Will they be able to accept each other’s wonky ideas and become friends?

For STEM classes, this story emphasizes the discussion of form v. function.
The story encourages divergent thinking as Lincoln and Howie design a robot. For kids who are rigid and inflexible, they’ll see the value of considering different options, and accepting those who are different.

Kirkus Reviews says, “. . .offbeat and clever. . .this tale will certainly appeal to kids. . . .”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Wonky: A Robotics Club Story by Darcy Pattison is a sweet novel that combines STEM science and friendship in one easy sweep. I liked how the characters Howie and Lincoln had differences but were able to connect with each other.

However, the book was a little bit predictable in that its two main characters were boys. Boys whose ultimate goal was to scare their sisters. It was funny. I could definitely picture boys creating that kind of robot. Robotics is cool. Unfortunately, nothing really about robotics was told her. It just showed two boys becoming friends during a robotics meeting.

Overall, I would give this children’s illustrated book a 5-star rating for the themes discussed. And I would give it a 4-star rating for it not really inserting girls and boys into the central picture. This book would be more suited to boys than girls. I liked the humor that was created with the images. The illustrations went well with the story. In the end, a great story book for kids.

Review: The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story by Darcy Pattison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A JUNIOR LIBRARY GUILD SELECTION

Do you believe everything you read in the newspaper?

Early in August 1937, a news flash came: a sea monster had been spotted lurking off the shore of Nantucket Island. Historically, the Massachusetts island had served as port for whaling ships. Eyewitnesses swore this wasn’t a whale, but some new, fearsome creature. As eyewitness account piled up, newspaper stories of the sea monster spread quickly. Across the nation, people shivered in fear.

Then, footprints were found on a Nantucket beach. Photographs were sent to prominent biologists for their opinion. Discussion swirled about raising a hunting party.

On August 18, news spread across the island: the sea monster had been captured. Islanders ran to the beach and couldn’t believe their eyes.

This nonfiction picture book is a perfect tool to discuss non-political fake news stories.

Back matter discusses the freedom of the press guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Quotes from Thomas Jefferson make it clear that fake news has always been one of the costs of a free press. A Timeline lists actual events in the order they occurred. A vocabulary list defines relevant words.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story by Darcy Pattison is a great story for children. It teaches them to not believe everything the read. Just because the newspaper prints a story does not mean it’s true. Newspapers can decide which stories they want to print for their audiences and which ones they do not want to print. Things such as hoaxes, free press, and publicity stunts can be seen and used for a great story. No real Sea monster existed yet it gained so much attention. This same thing can be applied to books, social media, and websites. Not everything published is accurate nor true. Be careful what you read. This book teaches children about fake news. How it happens, how it is used, and that things like a newspaper have that right. I thought it was entertaining, colorful, and informative.

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