Awards & Accolades

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

Cool and stylish.

Awards & Accolades

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller

Her intellectual curiosity is surpassed only by her passion for science. But what to do about her messy experiments?

Ada is speechless until she turns 3. But once she learns how to break out of her crib, there’s no stopping the kinky-haired, brown-skinned girl. “She tore through the house on a fact-finding spree.” When she does start speaking, her favorite words are “why,” “how,” and “when.” Her parents, a fashion-forward black couple who sport a variety of trendy outfits, are dumbfounded, and her older brother can only point at her in astonishment. She amazes her friends with her experiments. Ada examines all the clocks in the house, studies the solar system, and analyzes all the smells she encounters. Fortunately, her parents stop her from putting the cat in the dryer, sending her instead to the Thinking Chair. But while there, she covers the wall with formulae. What can her parents do? Instead of punishing her passion, they decide to try to understand it. “It’s all in the heart of a young scientist.” Though her plot is negligible—Ada’s parents arguably change more than she does—Beaty delightfully advocates for girls in science in her now-trademark crisply rhyming text. Roberts’ illustrations, in watercolor, pen, and ink, manage to be both smart and silly; the page compositions artfully evoke the tumult of Ada’s curiosity, filling white backgrounds with questions and clutter.

Cool and stylish. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2137-3

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

ROBOBABY

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy.

Robo-parents Diode and Lugnut present daughter Cathode with a new little brother—who requires, unfortunately, some assembly.

Arriving in pieces from some mechanistic version of Ikea, little Flange turns out to be a cute but complicated tyke who immediately falls apart…and then rockets uncontrollably about the room after an overconfident uncle tinkers with his basic design. As a squad of helpline techies and bevies of neighbors bearing sludge cake and like treats roll in, the cluttered and increasingly crowded scene deteriorates into madcap chaos—until at last Cath, with help from Roomba-like robodog Sprocket, stages an intervention by whisking the hapless new arrival off to a backyard workshop for a proper assembly and software update. “You’re such a good big sister!” warbles her frazzled mom. Wiesner’s robots display his characteristic clean lines and even hues but endearingly look like vaguely anthropomorphic piles of random jet-engine parts and old vacuum cleaners loosely connected by joints of armored cable. They roll hither and thither through neatly squared-off panels and pages in infectiously comical dismay. Even the end’s domestic tranquility lasts only until Cathode spots the little box buried in the bigger one’s packing material: “TWINS!” (This book was reviewed digitally with 9-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 52% of actual size.)

A retro-futuristic romp, literally and figuratively screwy. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-544-98731-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2020

MELIA AND JO

A delightful story of a cross-racial friendship between two kids who realize how much they need each other and the passions...

STEM becomes STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) as Melia, an inventor, and Jo, a dancer, discover that they’re a dynamic team.

Melia loves to invent things and tinker all day long in her backyard. Then Jo moves in next door and dances her way into Melia’s inventing space. With total disregard for the sanctity of Melia’s creations, Jo flips Melia’s cereal-bowl radio onto her head to wear it as a hat, sticks a rope of black licorice into the neck of an unfinished robot, and chucks a paper airplane—that Melia is still designing—into the air. Although she’s miffed at Jo’s invasion of her space, Melia realizes that Jo has inadvertently solved some puzzling conundrums. When Melia shows Jo what a difference she has made, Jo refuses to partner with Melia…until one of Melia’s inventions saves her. Their contrasting personalities are effectively delineated in the retro-styled illustrations: Brown-skinned Jo wears a pinky-purple tutu, a pearl necklace, and feathers in her hair; blonde-haired, peachy-skinned Melia wears shorts and an orange cape and boots. The backmatter provides instructions for how to make Melia’s paper airplane and explains the benefits of turning STEM into STEAM.

A delightful story of a cross-racial friendship between two kids who realize how much they need each other and the passions that each brings to the friendship. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 21, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-328-91626-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2018

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