Friday, June 29, 2018

Review of "Space Dictionary," by Isaac Asimov

Review of
Space Dictionary, by Isaac Asimov 

Five out of five stars
 Written shortly after the Apollo 11 landing on the moon, this book demonstrates the versatility of Isaac Asimov as a writer. Known primarily for his science fiction stories utilizing hard science and his non-fiction books for older readers explaining science, this book is an existence proof that he is capable of writing for a very young audience.
 The book contains an alphabetic series of terms that are part of the explanations of space and space exploration written for the early elementary school reader. The explanations are simple yet detailed enough so that the reader comes away with significant knowledge of space and how humans are taking tentative steps to explore it. Although this book is dated, it is still a worthy addition to any children’s library.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Review of "Tandy Computer Whiz Kids: Safeguarding the Environment

Review of
Tandy Computer Whiz Kids: Safeguarding the Environment

Five out of five stars
 Although the technology represented by the computers and other electronic devices is dated, the message about recycling in this comic is more critical than ever. As the climate changes with many unpredictable and dangerous consequences, the only hope is to practice higher levels of conservation. The first story in this comic book deals with the value of recycling and the discovery and arrest of illegal dumpers. It is a very effective lesson and demonstrates the power that comics can have in educating people about issues critical to the world.
 The second story stars the characters of the Archie series of comics as they visit the Riverdale Science Museum. While there, they learn about the early discoveries regarding electricity and the many ways in which it can and is produced. Renewable sources are given a prominent place in the explanations as well as how valuable they are in replacing non-renewable sources.
 There are many tools that can be used in the pedagogical process, and while some deride them, comics can serve an effective role. Doubters only have to look this comic over to see that this is true.

Review of "American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl"

Review of
American Honda Presents DC Comics Supergirl

Five out of five stars
 Comic books can be used for many things, in general they are underutilized as a training and educational tool. Especially when they are targeted at children. If the message is a simple and important one, a comic book can effectively educate. This comic is designed to teach the effectiveness of the use of seat belts and it stars Supergirl. Supporting players include the three little pigs and the big bad wolf. The content was produced with the cooperation of the U. S. Department of Transportation’s National Safety Belt program.
 Lacking a real villain, the story is weak concerning the usual good versus evil face-off. Yet, it helps reinforce a valuable lesson that children must learn, if the car is moving, then you must be buckled in. Easy to read and understand, this is a comic that can literally save lives. It reminded me of some of the content of the Batman television show of the sixties, where Batman lectures Robin about the importance of buckling up. While we will never know the count, it is certainly true that lives were saved because of what Batman said and did.