Accurate, informative, and surprisingly enjoyable.

BOY, WERE WE WRONG ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY!

From the Boy, Were We Wrong series

A picture-book history of human anatomy and physiology for a young age group—can anyone breathe life into this challenging concept?

Colorful cartoonlike illustrations combine with brief text to provide a history of misunderstandings of human anatomy and physiology that often served to misdirect medical care in the past. The refrain, “Boy, were they wrong!” concludes many spreads. Some of the themes explored: ancient Egyptians’ belief that the heart was the site of the personality; the commonly held misconception that many illnesses could be cured by bloodletting; acupuncture, which is later revealed as one of the “ancient ideas that work”; the idea that eyes produced light that captured images; and the belief that four types of humors filled the body and their imbalance was the source of illness. Each of these is described in a sentence or two and accompanied by a humorous, never-gory illustration, juxtaposed against a follow-on double-page spread that explains, very simply, the actual way the body works. The final few pages explore recent ideas and technologies, including information about DNA and a description of some unnamed imaging techniques. The fourth in the series, this clever entry is just as amusing and informative as the rest. A timeline that lists numerous highly significant medical advances, also—whimsically?—includes the 1921 invention of the Band-Aid.

Accurate, informative, and surprisingly enjoyable. (Informational picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-8037-3792-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: July 15, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2015

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Informative, empowering, and fun.

ROX'S SECRET CODE

Girl power abounds in this book about coding that introduces young readers to the world of programming while offering them hands-on activities via a companion app.

In this title that was first introduced as a customizable, personalized print-on-demand product, Rox has a superpower. Using code, she programs toy robots that can do things like make broccoli disappear—or mischief. When Dad tells Rox to clean her room, she quickly thinks up a bot that will do it for her, writing code that instructs her bot to use artificial intelligence to sort objects by color and type. Though Rox knows that there’s a high potential for her creation to rebel, the perks outweigh any potential adverse effects. Rox’s robot has her room neat and tidy in no time—and then the entire home. Chorebot’s AI allows it to keep learning, and it seems Chorebot can do no wrong until the robot decides to rearrange the entire city (both buildings and people) by type, style, and gender. Chorebot goes “out of his artificial mind!” Rox must now stop her creation…without the assistance of the internet. The artwork, styled in the tradition of popular superhero series, is peppy and colorful, and it depicts Rox as an adorable black girl donning a black bomber jacket and a pink tutu. A companion app (not available for review) allows readers to create a bot of their own.

Informative, empowering, and fun. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-57687-899-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: POW!

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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Cool and stylish.

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ADA TWIST, SCIENTIST

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 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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