Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine

Laurie Wallmark, illus. by April Chu. Creston (PGW, dist.), $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-939547-20-0
Wallmark makes her children's book debut with an inspiring and informative account of 19th-century mathematician Lovelace, who is considered to be the world's first computer programmer. Lovelace's mathematical passions are evident from the first pages, as Chu shows the infant in a bassinet, reaching for a mobile of stars and numbers (she's adjoined by her mother, whose own interests earned her the nickname "The Princess of Parallelograms," and her father, poet Lord Byron). Wallmark moves swiftly through Lovelace's life, facing obstacles that included a bout of measles that temporarily left her blind and paralyzed, as well as societal attitudes toward women in the sciences. Lovelace found a kindred spirit in inventor Charles Babbage, eventually creating "the world's first computer program" for his Analytical Machine. Chu brings the same grace and precision to this book as she did to In a Village by the Sea, and her finely detailed pencilwork is ideally suited to the schematics, blueprints, and mechanical implements that surround Lovelace and Babbage as they work, not to mention the stately apparel and architecture of their Victorian surroundings. Ages 5–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
The Best Books, Emailed Every Week
Tip Sheet!
MORE BOOKS YOU'D LIKE
X