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Allow me to introduce Ara, the Star Engineer. This little book focuses on Ara, who has a problem she wants to solve. She is a young lady who loves numbers and has a helpful sidekick robot but together they don’t know quite enough to find a solution to Ara’s problem. Enter in Innovation Plex. This story walks us through Ara, and the different people she meets, that help her solve her problem.
From the Back Cover:
Ara loves numbers – big numbers. She wants to program her droid DeeDee to count all the stars, but she’s not sure how. In this upbeat adventure, Ara visits Innovation Plex to enlist the help of four tech trailblazers – inspiring real-life engineers of Google. With her new friends, Ara discovers an algorithm for success that can solve BIG problems and be lots of fun: courage, creativity, code and collaboration.
What do you get?
A cute book geared toward girls that inspires them to think in terms of STEM and working with computers. Innovation Plex is part of google and is host to some of the brightest engineers. Ara turns to four women to help her solve her problem. Each woman specializes in a different area so they can help Ara when she faces each new problem.
Bright, colourful images fill the pages, bringing the story to life. Each of the four focus words is highlighted. In the image below we see COURAGE. Creativity, code and collaboration are done in a similar manner. I liked that each time we met a new character her name and position were highlighted.
As you read you will notice different words are printed in bold. Many of these words will found in the glossary at the close of the book. These are words that introduce important concepts to readers from 5-9 years old. The illustrations by Ipek Konak are spot on, giving voice to the working environment for these four engineers as well as to the joy of thinking and problem-solving.
I thought this book was well done and applaud the authors for not dumbing it down. Too many books don’t use language that is varied or specific enough to not only entertain children, but to educate them as well. This book succeeds in doing both. It would be so easy to expand this book to include various ages…from researching the helpers, to learn more about coding and computer language, to adding in a STEM project or two to put the learning into a hands-on format. Brightly coloured images with an excellent storyline following Ara through the various stages of completing her project. Well done.
Ara, the Star Engineer.
Komal Singh et al
Illustrator: Ipek Konak
Page Two Books
40 pages, Hardcover (though I received a trade paperback)
STEM, engineering, girls
Reviewed for Raincoast Books.
NOTE: there is a website to go along with Ara, Star Engineer. You can find it here. It has a fair number of printables to expand the ideas found in this lovely picture book.