Genre: kids graphic novel
Length: 102 pages
Setting: a generic suburb, present day
Summary: The story alternates between a brother and sister building projects out of household items, and informative pages. The informative pages tell you about different tools and their uses. The kids are on summer vacation and need something to keep them out of trouble. They build everything from a marshmallow shooter, to an ice cream maker to a bottle rocket.
Final thoughts: This is the type of book to spark a kid’s imagination to build their own projects. You’ve got blueprints and a bit of instruction for each project, but there aren’t step-by-step instructions to build each project. The nice thing is most of the supplies should be around the house. The fanciest supplies you need is PVC pipe (for the marshmallow shooter and the bottle rocket launcher). You do get some explanations behind the science of why things work the way they do, or which tools to use for each project.
The art is uncluttered, but still adds quite a bit to the text. Usually it’s easier to see a finished project than try to describe it. As a bonus, the sister is a person of color, and both she and her brother (who is white – I’m going to guess some adoption in there, but it’s not actually explained) are equal partners in coming up with and implementing projects.
Title comes from: Howtoons in the name of the series, because the books describe how things work or how to do things. The subtitle comes from the possible projects you can make from a pile of household items.
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