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Howtoons: The Possibilities Are Endless! Paperback – October 23, 2007


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (October 23, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006076158X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060761585
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The stories are fun and the drawings well done.
James Mcauliffe
If you want your kids to be awesome, you should get them this.
Atrayu
And just look at what the book is promising you!
E. R. Bird

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
Just this past summer my brother-in-law and sister-in-law were in town for a brief little vacation. Whenever relatives come to visit you in New York you end up seeing all kinds of cool things you'd never have bothered to visit on your own. In this particular case the two were particularly excited to see something called the Design Triennial at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. Game, my husband and I tagged along and it was a really cool show. Certainly some parts stuck in my head while others faded away, but one portion I remember quite clearly was a selection that showed comic book panels where two kids created a host of cool and kooky inventions. The strips were accompanied by real-life counterparts to these inventions, and there was some talk in the descriptions about how these strips might be turned into a book soon. Fast-forward to today and not only is the book in print but it's a really interesting idea. Part how-to guide, part graphic novel, "Howtoons", brings together the love every child has for comic books with fun, practical directions for creating everything from terrariums to turkey baster flutes.

Siblings Tuck and Celine may not always agree, but there's certainly one thing they have in common; the desire to invent miraculous creations out of simple objects. So, through their eyes, fifteen different chapters show child readers how to prepare a workshop for their creations, use a variety of different tools, and make all kinds of cool things. One minute Tuck and Celine are making ice cream without an ice cream maker, and the next they're whipping up handmade underwater scopes. As the book progresses these inventions grow increasingly complex, though perhaps not impossible.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Harry Pox on November 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
First off, I'm way too old to be reading children's books, but this one grabbed my attention -- it's pretty fascinating. I bought this book for an 11 year old based on a friend's recommendation and I thought I'd give it a little read before I wrapped it. It's near impossible to put down, totally taps into the inner child, and it's beautifully illustrated. Highly recommended for kids and big kids.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Left Coast on November 25, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We are going to buy lots of copies of Howtoons because it is so much fun, and because my kids feel that they have gained terrific freedom and special knowledge through the book.
Our family has gifted kids who are rotten readers, and other kids who are gifted readers and to see them conspire over the back of a couch, giggling and scheming together is completely worth the price of a book. I bought some copies with the pretense of 'checking them out for the, uh, teachers, and other kids'. They haven't actually yet been given to teachers or to the other kids, although they've certainly been shown them. The drawings are terrific, the instructions are complete, the relations between the kids are natural (as we discussed) and the kids are planning to get more copies for their best friends.
Me, I love this book.
But I'm letting them think they are getting away with something. It's so much sweeter that way!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Lackner on October 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
Despite the fact that science and engineering are -more than ever- cornerstones of our everyday lives, the act of designing and building a thing aren't seen as fun. Until now. The authors draw on their deep understanding of technology and creatively demonstrate their extreme passion for engineering. With HOWTOONS, parents will inspire, and kids will find the joy in math and science. I am very happy that something like this finally came on the market and hope that there's more to follow.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Bridget on October 24, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have been a big fan of this strip ever since it came out in Make magazine. And this new book is awesome because it has so many more projects. I am in my early 20's and me and my friends fun with the projects. My favorite by far is the ice cream one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Marsick on November 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
Don't think of this as merely an instruction book, it's a portable imaginarium. Sure, it explains the hows and whys of easy to create projects, but it also inspires young minds to think outside the box and explore their inner creativity. The beauty of it is how the projects are designed around easy to come by products, without a heavy outlay of money, a wonderful change in this Nintendo and Playstation driven world. Nick Dragotta's art makes it accessible and fun for boys AND girls, and is probably his best work to date, even moreso than his work on Marvel's "X-Statix". I can't recommend this book enough!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bill on December 2, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a good book written like a comic. I wish there had been more interesting projects. Some of them I thought were a little shallow. I suggest you also go to the Howtoons web site and see some good examples there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Laura on November 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this last Christmas for my sons who were 7 at the time. We've done several of the projects together, the marshmallow shooter being the first one which we did with a group at their b-day party a few months after Christmas. Both of my sons enjoy the book, especially my more crafty, "science-y" guy. It is a good book for re-reading or for thinking of something to do on a day off. It's nice to have the pictures and have a basic understanding of what you're doing and what might happen before you start a project. For me it's much more enjoyable to read than the text-rich, illustration-poor science fair project books... with similar educational value.
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