Now you don’t normally see ‘book’ reviews on Transhumanity.net and further probably not ‘children’s’ book reviews and in fact now that I think about it this is only the second time ever. What is cool is that now there is actually at least two books related to transhumanism or transhumanist philosophy for children. As a parent myself I think this is great.
So now lets talk about the book, “Nanobots for Dinner – Preparing for the Technological Singularity” by David Filmore.
Which you can get off Amazon here:
That being said however the book has good points and some problem areas.
The book is a short children’s story that seems to be wrapped around helping a young child understand why the technology in science fiction is not real but also helping them understand how soon it is coming and that some of it is already here and further to encourage them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics to help that technology get here sooner. While the story line is a bit dragged by a mix of long sentences with an attempt at Dr. Seuss style language it does get the point across.
I gave the book to two of my children a boy and a girl, one 9 and one 12. Both of these children are interested in technology and the 12 year old already writes code. The 12 year old read it and was able to articulate the story at a high level but described at boring. Given his collage reading level and being insulted by me asking him to read a children’s book its not too much of an a issue but the 9 year old described it as confusing and was unclear about what the boy was doing. In this case she liked the possibility that the book described but felt that it was ‘weird’.
Based on my take of the book AND seeing the responses of my children, I would say that the best use of the story is as a mediated book or story time. What I mean by that, is a parent reading the book on their own a few times to get the rhythm of the text and then during reading time with a children read it with vocal texture and ‘passion’ as it were. This sort of approach will help make the content more digestible and help accomplish the author’s goals in getting children excited.
I commend the author (David Filmore) for writing the book but would also encourage him to make similar stories just a touch more digestible for the target constituency.
For more information: http://www.davidfilmore.com/