________________ CM . . . . Volume IX Number 2 . . . . September 20, 2002

cover Make Amazing Toy and Game Gadgets. (Popular Mechanics for Kids).

Amy Pinchuk. Illustrated by Alan Moon and Tina Holdcroft.
Toronto, ON: Greey de Pencier/Maple Tree Press, 2001.
64 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-894379-14-4.

Subject Headings:
Mechanical toys-Juvenile literature.
Toy making-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***1/2 /4

 

   
cover Make Cool Gadgets for Your Room. (Popular Mechanics for Kids).

Amy Pinchuk. Illustrated by Teco Rodrigues.
Toronto, ON: Greey de Pencier/Maple Tree Press, 2001.
64 pp., pbk., $12.95.
ISBN 1-894379-12-8.

Subject Headings:
Mechanical toys-Juvenile literature.
Toy making-Juvenile literature.

Grades 5-8 / Ages 9-13.

Review by Ian Stewart.

***1/2 /4

 

exerpt:

When it comes to building mechanical gadgets and working with electrical gizmos, pros always put safety first. The pros check and test what they are building every step of the way. They also make sure their finished product is neat and tidy so it is safe to use. All of the gadgets described in this book are perfectly safe to make. The step-by-step instructions for building them are based on the methods of the pros.

Author Amy Pinchuk, who has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, used her academic and design skills to craft these two fascinating books which will surely captivate budding young scientists, science fair entrants and any kid who just loves to tinker with gizmos and fiddle with gadgets. With some guidance, kids as young as nine should be able to build some of the gadgets, and 14- year-olds will be challenged by the complexity and requisite skills others require. Using Pinchuk's explicit instructions and well-illustrated step-by step process, students have the opportunity to build a spy camera, a light-up doorbell for their room, a flashy key ring, or any of eight other thingamajigs. In Make Amazing Toy and Game Gadgets, young students can confidently build an "Outta Sight Light Box" (a great secret spy flashlight) using common household materials, a 3-volt battery and a 1.5 to 3 volt LED by following Pinchuk's five-step design process and using the testing procedures she includes for each gadget. After building this simple electrical device, older students might go on to attempt building "Cool Shades." Building these flashing light glasses requires the student to understand a little electrical theory and to do some relatively simple electrical circuitry. If Make Cool Gadgets for Your Room is selected, the simplest thingamajig is a flashing key ring, and the most complex is a secret code machine. Both books contain a well thought out "What's That" glossary of terms and components that complements the gadgets students are building. These are windfall books for science and electrical/electronic teachers, and they will excite students about designing and creating their own gizmos, doodads, thingamabobs, etc.

Highly Recommended.

Ian Stewart teaches at David Livingstone School in Winnipeg No.1 School Division.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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