Howtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless!

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9780060761585: Howtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless!

Part comic strip and part science experiment, Howtoons shows children how to find imaginative new uses for common household items like soda bottles, duct tape, mop buckets, and more–to teach kids the "Tools of Mass Construction"!

Howtoons are cartoons that teach 8– to 15–year–old readers "how to" build, create, and explore things. Combining a fun, full–color cartoon format and real life science and engineering principles, Howtoons are designed to encourage kids to become active participants in the world around them.

Readers meet Tucker and Celine, a lovable brother and sister pair. Sick of watching TV and playing video games, Tucker and Celine decide to conquer every kid's nightmare: the dreaded summer o' boredom. Armed with countless ideas for fun projects, they set out to reclaim the sheer joy of playing. Fifteen practical, build–it–yourself projects are weaved into the Tucker and Celine storyline. With the narrators' help and clear step–by–step instructions, young readers will learn how to set up a workshop, create a marshmallow shooting gun, make ice cream without a freezer, play songs on a turkey baster flute, explore a homemade terrarium, launch a pressure–powered rocket, and more!

Utilizing inexpensive, kid–friendly materials, Howtoons will prove that the world at large is infinitely more exciting than anything happening on the TV or computer screen. Plus, each project will provide readers with practical skills and problem solving know–how that they can use in their everyday lives. These funny, interactive Howtoons are sure to inspire independence and creative savvy in young people everywhere.

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About the Author:

Saul Griffith is an MIT Ph.D. with multiple degrees in materials engineering and mechanical engineering. He is the co-founder of Squid-Labs, a company that among other things uses two novel technologies that Griffith developed to provide prescription eye care for rural and developing communities. He was awarded the National Inventor's Hall of Fame Collegiate Inventors award, as well as M.I.T.'s prestigious Lemelson-M.I.T. Student Prize, and Technology Review's TR35 award for top innovators under the age of thirty-five. Griffith and partner Joost Bonsen started and incubated the Howtoons project while graduate students at M.I.T. Bonsen, who learned how to read English from TinTin comics, has a keen passion for the media, especially in the area of science-adventure. Illustrator Nick Dragotta has worked for the Cartoon Network, Marvel Comics, and DC Comics.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 4-6–In this craft book in graphic-novel format, siblings Celine and Tucker show, through dialogue balloons, how a little ingenuity can turn everyday household items and discarded material into fun, cutting-edge projects. The activities range from simple (making ice cream, safety goggles from plastic liter bottles, and a flute from a turkey baster) to complex endeavors that require extra patience for trial and error as well as some heavy-duty hardware. The introduction for the marshmallow shooter, for example, features different kinds of handsaws as Celine demonstrates the proper cutting technique. While the creators recommend adult supervision, especially for constructing a tree swing, Tucker and Celine are mostly shown on their own. Still, the comic-book art normally associated with action heroes captures the siblings' exuberant, innovative spirits and the format allows for more detailed instructions for project construction. Recommended for creative but mindful budding inventors/designers/engineers.–Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
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