BACKGROUND (From RUNNING PRESS) Everyone has heard the name Steve Jobs, but what about Nolan Bushnell–Jobs’s boss before the invention of Apple, and the founder of the first major video game, Pong? Many of the most relevant figures in tech history have remained in the shadows, but not any longer! From Alan Katz’s new Awesome Achievers series, Awesome Achievers in Technology gives kids a look behind the scenes at 12 lesser-known inventors whose contributions to tech are personally relevant to their lives today. Each figure is given a traditional biography but is also subject to Katz’s unique brand of silliness, with humorous elements such as imagined poems, song lyrics, and diary entries by and about the not-so-famous figure accompanying each bio.
MY TAKE: The short volume is not meant to be an exhaustive bio on each of the inventors. Instead, you’ll find several pages on each of the talented people detailing what inspired them to create something that benefits many of us today.
The names aren’t familiar ones, but the products you will surely recognize: Atari Video Games, Siri, the modern day seatbelt. wireless remote, windshield wipers, cell phones, security cameras, World Wide Web, fiber optic cable, microwave oven, and Scotchgard.
Author Alan Katz follows each bio with his often laugh out loud antidotes. Most are silly but perfect for the intended audience. Many of the poems, jokes, and stories even had me giggling.
The only thing missing for me were further resources or a bibliography. I have the feeling Mr. Katz would say type the name or product in a search engine and read to your heart’s content.
Overall, AWESOME ACHIEVERS IN TECHNOLOGY is a fascinating and lighthearted look at some almost famous history makers. A great starting point for initial research.
About the Author: Alan Katz is the author of many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub and Other Silly Dilly Songs, Don’t Say That Word! OOPS!, Poems I Wrote When No One Was Looking, and The Day the Mustache Took Over and its sequel, The Day the Mustache Came Back. Alan is also a six-time Emmy-nominated writer for TV series including The Rosie O’Donnell Show, animated series Taz-Mania, Disney’s Raw Toonage and Goof Troop, the Grammy Awards and Tony Awards, and many network specials and game shows. he has also created comic books, trading card sets, web videos, TV commercials and hundreds of other special projects for kids and parents. He lives with his family in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Alan can also be found at www.alankatzbooks.com.
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