Connect with us
'Science Comics: Robots and Drones' review: Past, present, and future

Children's Books

‘Science Comics: Robots and Drones’ review: Past, present, and future

Featuring historical and modern perspectives.

Have a kid who wonders about how the universe works?  Want them to know a quick history of a scientific subject while learning about where the future will take us?  First Second’s series Science Comics is the perfect graphic novel for the kid in your life.  The most recent, Robots and Drones, covers the science of robotics from the days of ancient Greece and its automatons to modern drones and robotics used by the military and in our homes.

Along with its adorable automaton narrator, Pouli, children are taken on a journey through time to learn about machines, computers, and robots.  From the start, the book does an excellent job explaining the criteria for something to be considered a robot, describing how sensing its environment and reacting is key to robotics.  The short explorations of ancient machines, known as automatons, and their simple operations allow children to get an idea for how machines have been built and perfected across the centuries.  Examples include machinations from Persia, Japan, and ancient Greece.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

'Science Comics: Robots and Drones' review: Past, present, and future

A key point to understanding robots in a real sense is knowing not only their capabilities, but also their limitations.  Kids, along with Pouli, find that robots are very good at simple, repetitive tasks, while humans are needed for more complex and creative ones.  My 8-year-old tore through the comic, fascinated by the connections to the first automatons – he found the story of the weighted water fountain hilarious – and the exploration of drones in particular.  

I, on the other hand, love that author Mairghread Scott included a cameo by Isaac Asimov to explain his Three Laws of Robotics and that artist Jacob Chabot made sure to diversify the race and gender of the kids portrayed throughout the book.  I am a huge believer in kids being able to see themselves in not only comics, but also in important career fields.

'Science Comics: Robots and Drones' review: Past, present, and future

Any student who picks up this book will learn everything they could possibly want to know about robots and drones, including repeating, ad nauseum, the list of “25 Robots You Should Know” included in the back.  The factoids are fun and clever, taking readers on a journey from the first use of the word “robot” – in a play called Rossum’s Universe – to the companion robot Jibo, still currently in production.  As all the books in this series have, Robots and Drones delivers the goods with a dose of humor and whimsy that is perfect for the STEAM-obsessed elementary or middle school student while also having enough good info packed in its pages to enlighten the adults as well.

'Science Comics: Robots and Drones' review: Past, present, and future
‘Science Comics: Robots and Drones’ review: Past, present, and future
Is it good?
Pros
Good science, good fun
Historical context reaching back to Ancient Greece
Diverse characters
Cons
Not a lot of in-depth investigation
8
Good

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

Shadowman_01 Shadowman_01

‘Shadowman’ #1 is good when it should be great

Comic Books

'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle 'Nocterra' #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

‘Nocterra’ #2 cranks the darkness up to full throttle

Comic Books

'King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes' #3 delivers a great Toxin story 'King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes' #3 delivers a great Toxin story

‘King in Black: Planet of the Symbiotes’ #3 delivers a great Toxin story

Comic Books

'America Chavez: Made in the USA' #2 plays up the complicated origin of its character 'America Chavez: Made in the USA' #2 plays up the complicated origin of its character

‘America Chavez: Made in the USA’ #2 plays up the complicated origin of its character

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup