In First Grade the child is beginning to read. Let us give them more interesting information about computers than a date for the "first" calculator, 1642. Mentioning Pacal's name or Da Vinci original plans could have replaced other text that is obvious to even the least techno-savvy eight-year-old. The reproduction of the punch-card loom was helpful, but further explanation about how holes create patterns would be necessary for this audience to understand the relationship. The Hollerith photograph and cover of the book could lead to further discussions in the hands of a knowledgeable adult. Comparing the early computer's size to a two car garage showed age-appropriateness. Certain vocabulary, e.g. chips and bits, was included but not others like CPU, transistor or motherboards. 2005, Compass Point Books, Ages 8 up.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-In the first book, basic shapes are identified, described, and graphically presented via full-color photographs of buildings and sites. Some of the pictures of these structures, such as the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Roman Colosseum, contain details that interfere with a clear presentation of the shape. It's unfortunate that a simple outline of it is not included within the context of the picture. Computers attempts to provide a simple introduction to technology, but the concepts and pictures about early machines are too complex for this age group. In addition, ending a sentence identifying the founder of IBM without adding a description of the company assumes too much prior knowledge. The discussion of how computers evolved is better, though a diagram of how they link in the Internet might have been more informative than a photo of a father and daughter on a keyboard. The photo of a "wearable" computer will also raise questions not answered in the text. Understanding Differences portrays random concepts and photos of people, while describing cultural manners and celebrations. References are not always identified, as in "In some countries, though, cows are sacred." Or, "People don't always use good manners. Sometimes people whistle during sports games-." The combination of random facts and arrangements, lack of detail, and use of some complex photos results in books that do not meet the requirements of their targeted audience.-Phyllis M. Simon, Bay Shore School District, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.