I have to confess. I am not handy. I don’t enjoy building things or using tools. I have no desire to hang out in workshops or garages, smelling sawdust or organizing wrenches. The worst part of owning my own home is not having a landlord to call when something breaks. So imagine my surprise when I ended up reading Howtoons cover to cover, and finding I’d actually like to give some of the projects in the book a try.

Bored siblings Celine and Tucker are told by their mother to go “make something other than trouble.” Taking these instructions to heart, they turn a corner of the basement into a workshop and get to work. Together the two complete a series of kid-friendly projects using easy to find materials. Each short chapter includes a quick story about the kids that sets up the project, safety tip, or how-to pointer. From making their own ice cream and learning to count on their fingers in binary, or building a marshmallow shooter and a whoopee cushion, Celine and Tuck use their imaginations, some ingenuity, and a little bit of science, to have a whole lot of fun.

One thing to keep in mind is that kid-friendly doesn’t necessarily mean easy, and each new project builds on the skills learned by doing the projects that came before, so adult supervision is recommended, but adult help isn’t always necessary….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

Howtoons: The Possibilities are Endless
Authors: Saul Griffith, PhD, Nick Dragotta, Joost Bonsen
Illustrator: Nick Dragotta
ISBN: 9780060761585
HarperCollins, 2007

  • Eva

    | She/her Supervising Children’s Librarian, Alameda Free Library

    Editor and Review Coordinator

    Eva Volin is Supervising Children’s Librarian for the Alameda (CA) Free Library. She cowrote “Good Comics for Kids: Collecting Graphic Novels for Young Readers” for Children & Libraries and is a contributor to the forthcoming ALSC Popular Picks for Young Readers. She has served as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and the Isotope Award for Excellence in Mini-Comics. She has also served on several YALSA committees, including Great Graphic Novels for Teens and the Michael L. Printz Award. Eva is a regular contributor to School Library Journal’s Good Comics for Kids blog and is an occasional reviewer for Booklist.

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