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Saturday Book Review: Wacky Boy & Wacky Mommy review “Zephyr Takes Flight,” “Press Here” & “The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists”

November 10th, 2012

Rough Skinned Newt

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Do you think that newt likes to read? Perhaps… Also, doesn’t it look like he’s on a bed of caviar? What a trip.

When I say we are backlogged on book reviews, what I mean is: I can’t find my desk. Cuz it’s buried under a load of books, that’s why. Also, I’m back to teaching, after a long break spent writing and avoiding responsibility. My new students and I have been reading some old and new favorites. I’d like to give “One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish” a shout-out here because Dr. Seuss, you’ve never let us down. Thank you.

“This one has a little star/this one has a little car. Say! What a lot of fish there are.”

We’re kind of enamored of “Press Here,” by Herve Tullet (ChronicleKids, 2011, unpaged, $15.99). It’s a picture book, but don’t let that fool you. It’s a game, a work of art, and would be a really fun read-aloud for a class. Blue, red and yellow dots dance across the page. Press here. Tap on the blue. Tilt the page and see what happens. Love. This. Book.

“Zephyr Takes Flight” was written and illustrated by Steve Light (Candlewick Press, 2012, unpaged, $16.99.) Oh, Zephyr, you have a great imagination, little girl. She likes her airplanes and flying machines — making them, building them, and flying off, like Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace in “Peanuts.” The book is beautifully drawn in pen and ink, with added pastels and colored pencil.

Wacky Boy says: “This is a good one for ages 5-10. It’s a really creative book. I liked all of the different kinds of flying machines they had.” (And wait for the surprise, once Zephyr discovers the inhabitants of the wild blue yonder.)

“The Geek Dad Book for Aspiring Mad Scientists: The Coolest Experiments and Projects for Science Fairs and Family Fun” is by Ken Denmead, a husband and father from the Bay area who also works as a civil engineer. (Gotham Books, 2011, 231 pages, $18.00.) He wrote “Geek Dad” and “The Geek Dad’s Guide to Weekend Fun,” too. He lost us at the first chapter: “Extracting Your Own DNA.” Sorry, but I guess I’m just not geeky enough. Wacky Boy is 10 now (5th grade) and is Junior Science geek, but this book was a little beyond us. (Middle school/high school level, perhaps?)

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Wacky Family

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