Discover an early pioneer in the field of computer science – Ada Byron Lovelace. A great introduction for early elementary age students that gives them the model of an intelligent, inquisitive, creative young woman with an amazing imagination and dreams of flying (in the 19th century!) Her ability to make connections among disparate fields was a key to her success. When viewing the mechanical loom, Ada learned of punch cards being used to direct machines . . . not unlike programming a computer. She became friends with Charles Babbage, who was working on what he described as “the analytical engine” — now known as the first computer.
I was delighted to discover that Lovelace was a fine translator. She translated an article from the Italian into English which explained how Charles Babbage’s analytical engine worked. Additionally, her “notes from the translator” are much longer than the article itself. Lovelace described how this remarkable machine could be used — and it was her vision to see what it was capable of that was really remarkable: “writing text, composing music, reproducing images, even playing games like checkers or chess.”
Jessie Hartland’s gouache illustrations are colorful and appealing. They include many specific details, including scientific notation, images of mechanical looms and Babbage’s Difference Engine, and locations and famous people (identifiable by the objects in the thought balloons above their heads). What a challenging book to illustrate!
For more about the book and a teacher’s guide, visit:
this School Library Journal article offers many resources for exploring Ada, women in science, coding, and Lord Byron (and more!) in the classroom.