Thinkerox: A Brain in a Box, by Dr. Brian Whitestone | Dedicated Review
Review sponsored by Dr. Brian Whitestone.
Thinkerox: A Brain in a Box
By Dr. Brian Whitestone, Illustrated by Steve Rabatich
Age Range: 6 to 8
Paperback: 27 pages
Publisher: Dr. Brian Whitestone (2014)
What to Expect: Technology, Rhyming Text, Animated Illustrations, Positive Messages, Positive Change, Futuristic Setting, STEM
Most everyone will agree that technology can be both beneficial and detrimental but how to explain this to children can often be difficult. Dr. Brian Whitestone, author of Thinkerox: A Brain in a Box, has depicted both aspects for children in an imaginative and vivid tale about a boy and his invention.
Billy McGew lives in the idyllic futuristic town of Laloo, where neighbors abide by the simple principles of being kind and friendly to one another. Billy enjoys inventing and experimenting and unexpectedly, he creates an electronic device that can think and talk: the Thinkerox. Billy’s Thinkerox invention is innocuous, until it’s stolen by Sam Snooper, who manufactures, markets, and distributes it to everyone in Laloo. The people of Laloo are entranced by the Thinkerox and its capabilities, and the town’s guiding principles of kindness and friendliness quickly vanish. Billy is disturbed by this turn of events and must rely on his technology skills to restore Laloo to the charming town it used to be.
Dr. Whitestone’s message to readers is clear and relevant: technological inventions are not inherently detrimental but the manner and frequency in which they are used can be. The transformation of the people of Laloo as a result of their obsession with the Thinkerox is a powerful representation of the effects that technology overuse can have on minds. In addition, the dramatic change in the community allows young readers to easily develop a correlation. Though there is a clear practical lesson here, Dr. Whitestone delivers this moral in a whimsical, engaging, and rhythmic manner through the use of rhyming verse that is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss.
Thinkerox: A Brain in a Box was digitally illustrated by Steve Rabatich with interesting, detailed and eye-catching images that flood the pages with color. The setting is in the future and Mr. Rabatich’s attention to detail complements this setting perfectly while balancing the author’s message and supplementing the rhyming narrative. Thinkerbox: A Brain in a Box is a terrific cautionary tale about the drawbacks of technology overuse, which is a message that needs to be emphasized and regularly shared with children. It’s a wonderful book to have on hand as families and teachers continue to be challenged by the increasing role technology plays in our lives.
About the Author
Dr. Brian Whitestone is an oral surgeon by training and a writer at heart. He delights in the joys of wordsmithing and the redemptive power of language. Dr. Whitestone is an active member of the Canadian Author’s Association and Pen Canada. His first work is a cautionary tale for children, set in a rhyming scheme, about the intrusion of technology in our daily lives.
For more information, visit: AuthorBrianWhitestone.com
About the Illustrator
Steve Rabatich has more than 30 years’ experience in the animation industry in Canada and the US. Mr. Rabatich is a veteran of feature film, television and new media production. A graduate of CalArts in Southern California, he was recruited by Pixar studios to work on their seminal animated feature, Toy Story. In Canada, he has worked in commercials, several notable feature film projects including Heavy Metal, and popular television series including Care Bears and the Racoons.
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