Boxitects by Kim Smith

Boxitects by Kim Smith
Review Copy from Clarion Books
Boxitects is a standout picture book for featuring two main characters of color. It's also a great story that shows kids the value of collaboration while also putting maker-kids (and speciality schools) on the page. 
Meg IS a boxitect - she loves making things out of boxes, from tall towers to twisty tunnels. Meg is proud of her work, and her mom is proud of her, too - so proud that she sends Meg to a "Maker School where she could be even more brilliant and creative." I know (hope?) that by now almost all school districts have speciality schools that support and inspire kids who have a passion for creative expression, be it making, coding, drama or art. I love that Boxitects puts this kind of school on the page (you can't be it if you can't see it) and hope that creative young readers will be inspired to find their own Maker School.
 Meg meets all kinds of makers at her new school, from blanketeers and spaghetti-tecs to tin-foilers and egg-cartoneers. As the class's first boxitect, Meg feels special . . . until Simone shows up. Simone makes things that Meg has never dreamed of, and she is always nearby, offering Meg advice on how to make a better build. While the text doesn't reveal this, illustrations show Meg's growing frustration with Simone. When the 5th Annual Maker Match demands that Meg and Simone work on a build together, the two refuse to partner. Instead, Meg builds a treehouse and Simone builds a ship, each trying to outdo the other until disaster strikes. After some finger pointing, Meg and Simone call a truce and find that, working together, they can create something new and better.

Back matter includes four pages of information, instruction and inspiration for budding boxitects. Experiments and challenges with cardboard are partnered with step-by-step plans for a tunnel and castle.

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