Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oh No!: (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett - Book Review and Robot Craft

Tonight is an exciting night for the online children's book world! Nominations open for the Cybils (Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards). Starting after midnight, anyone that has an interest in children's books is welcome to nominate their favorite kid's books from the last year, published between Oct. 16, 2009 and Oct. 15th 2010. Even if you don't plan to nominate anything, the site is worth checking out for book recommendations. The book featured in this post today is a sure bet for a picture book nomination. Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat has received a ton of buzz so far this year, most deservedly I might add. A giant robot and toad, mass chaos, smart little girl responsible for it all -- what's not to like? Read on for our take...

Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat; Disney / Hyperion (June 2010); ISBN 9781423123125; 40 pages
Book Source: Copy from public library

"Oh No ... Oh Man ... I knew it. I never should have built a robot for the science fair."

A brainy little girl, with visions of blue ribbons and accolades, submits an advanced robotics entry into her school science fair. She ends up receiving a blue ribbon for her project, but quickly learns that while she slipped off to the fair, her unattended, giant robot (120 yards tall) took over the city, and is destroying everything in sight. In a frenzied state, the girl rushes out and tries to control her crazed creation, only to discover a huge flaw in her design -- she can't communicate with the machine and apparently there's no off switch. She returns to her lab to work on a fix and enlarges a toad to fight the robot. (Maybe not the most well thought out plan but a valiant attempt, nonetheless.)

The high-action illustrations in the book look like a classic Japanese monster movie in the making. Black edges create a filmstrip feel and you can spot the graininess and lines in the pictures, with plenty of Japanese signs in the background. There isn't a lot of text in this book. It reads a little like a graphic novel, and the eye naturally is drawn to all the awesome illustrations. My kids loved the hilarious dogs in robot gear (the robot has the ability to control canine minds). I geeked out over blueprint endpapers showing schematics from both the robot and toad projects. The book jacket has a poster printed on the underside, but sadly we couldn't view it as we checked our copy out from the library and the poster is hidden safely from view under the plastic cover. I need to give a thumbs up for the leading girl choice - so great to see an intelligent female in a book like this! The whole book sends my geeky girl heart a pitter-patter. My toddler son is naturally drawn toward anything about robots, but even my princess-loving girl stepped away from the pink long enough to browse through this one, not once, but many times. She needs to come up with a science fair project this year, but I think we'll stay away from the robots!

Related Links:
Mac Barnett - Author Website
Dan Santat - Illustrator Website

❖❖❖❖❖❖ stART Craft - Magnetic Alpha-Robot Craft Project ❖❖❖❖❖❖

This is our version of a trash to treasure robot craft. We started with some tin cans and other various recyclables and created our own robot. The kids like changing out the face using magnets and magnetic letters. We also made a few magnetic eyes by adhering printed eyes to a thin, cheap magnetic sheet using double sided tape.

(Our robot craft was inspired by this Family Fun Can-Do Robots craft.)

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A Mommy's Adventures hosts the "stART" meme (Story + Art) each week. Add your kids craft post to the Kid's Get Crafty linky at Red Ted Art's Blog. Join in Read Aloud Thursday at Hope is the Word. Show off your ideas at ABC & 123 Show and Tell.

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RedTedArt said...

Oh how cute! I love that he is magnetic and you can rearrange things! How very fun!!

Thank you also for linkin up to Kids Get Crafty! Much appreciated


phasejumper said...

I had seen robot ideas, but didn't even think about using magnets with them! Awesome! Thanks for sharing!

Annette W. said...

My daughter has a thing for robots, and this looks like one that would be fun!

Christianne @ Little Page Turners said...

I have a geeky girl hear too! Great robot. (Oh dear! You have 666 followers. Better recruit someone fast! :)

Holly said...

I love the robot. I'm going to have to check out that book--I know a couple of boys who would really like it.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love all the treasures on the robot. The magnets are so cute as add ons.

Please stop by and link this activity to Read.Explore.Learn on my blog.

amandab said...

What a lovely robot, reminds me of something from the Little Robots tv series :)

We use lots of recycyled materials in our crafts, but have never used tin cans, and I would never have thought of using magnets on it to decorate it, what a wonderful idea :)