Want to see more? Here's my YouTube review:
"Color in this grid to meet Harry, the Robot Architect. Nobody understands math as well as a robot! Harry is going to help explain 'area' and 'perimeter.'" This little blurb exemplifies what makes Architect Academy so great: it combines fun kid stuff with meaningful learning through actual tasks they get to complete.
And when they're done completing each task, they get a sticker! Who doesn't love getting stickers? (even my high school students like getting stickers on their work - no joke.)
It's difficult to explain the depth and design of this book (a Kane Miller book written by Steve Miller) concisely, but I'm going to give it a try. It's a do-it-yourself primer on what it means to be an architect, what skills help you along the way, and what types of assignments architects work on. But what's brilliant is that every page contains an activity for the reader to do, either right on the page of the book or with everyday supplies around the house.
Design floor plans, residential areas, tree houses, pyramids... test boat designs, measure and build a 3D model house, match building materials to the function they provide in a building. This book is 64 pages of well thought out information, games, activities, and tasks that will make any young reader feel accomplished - because they really have accomplished something! Funny how that works. :)
It's the book that tricks you into working and learning because it's disguised as really really fun play.
Added bonus: this book is part of a series! If your reader enjoyed becoming an architect, they can also become an astronaut or an engineer!
Buy Architect Academy here ($12.99, paperback)
Click these pictures to enlarge and see occasional captions:
"Cordelia could fly along with the breeze. What seemed impossible, she did with ease." So begins the tale of Cordelia, a little girl who can fly. She has so much fun singing with the birds and making the moon grin - until other people tell her she's being silly and can't fly.
Cordelia begins to doubt herself, and away goes her ability to fly. Life loses its fun and color until she realizes she knows herself better than that, and that she can't be defined by what other people think. "Who was anyone to say, if she could or couldn't fly? What was or wasn't possible - if they didn't even try?"
This is such a sweet story, written by the wonderful Michelle Nelson-Schmidt. Of course, it shares an important message for kids - and adults - to hear, but it does so with whimsy and innocence. You can't help but root for Cordelia, droop when she's down, smile when she flies.
And, as an added bonus, you can buy a little plush Cordelia doll to make her come alive even more. She is very cute and huggable, and perfectly sized for little arms!
Buy Cordelia here! ($6.99, paperback)
Take home a sweet Cordelia plush doll, too ($14.99, 10" tall)
"This is the gear. One goes this way, the other goes that way." That was Josh explaining to me how cogs work, a recent revelation thanks to Usborne's See Inside How Things Work (written by Conrad Mason, illustrated by Colin King). This is a flap book with 90+ flaps to lift - some even multi-layered for the same image - that teach about everything from plumbing to trumpets to tower cranes.
One great element of this book is that the pictures and the words are both educational. My boys don't read, but they love looking at the diagrams, which have detailed illustrations with arrows and color coding to explain concepts. But read the captions as well, and you'll learn a new layer of how everything works together.
And parents can learn, too! I never knew how those tall tower cranes were constructed, but I do now. Have you wondered what's really going on inside a lock, or how hair dyers heat up so quickly? Wonder no more! It's all explained in these easy-to-follow diagrams.
It's that book that will help you answer all those questions coming from the backseat.
Buy See Inside How Things Work here! ($14.99, hardcover)
Hi there! I'm Christine - Usborne Books & More independent consultant, kids' book fan, English teacher, mom of two boys.