From nonfiction stars Diane Stanley and Jessie Hartland comes a beautifully illustrated biography of Ada Lovelace, who is known as the first computer programmer. Two hundred years ago, a daughter was born to the famous poet, Lord Byron, and his mathematical wife, Annabella. Like her father, Ada had a vivid imagination and a creative gift for connecting ideas in original ways. Like her mother, she had a passion for science, math, and machines. It was a very good combination. Ada hoped that one day she could do something important with her creative and nimble mind. A hundred years before the dawn of the digital age, Ada Lovelace envisioned the computer-driven world we know today. And in demonstrating how the machine would be coded, she wrote the first computer program. She would go down in history as Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer. Diane Stanley’s lyrical writing and Jessie Hartland’s vibrant illustrations capture the spirit of Ada Lovelace and bring her fascinating story vividly to life.
Diane Stanley is the author and/or illustrator of more than sixty books for children, noted especially for her award-winning picture book biographies. She and Jessie Hartland recently collaborated on Ada Lovelace, Poet of Science, which was named an ALA Notable Book and an Amelia Bloomer Top Ten Book, among other accolades. Diane is the recipient of the Washington Post/Children’s Book Guild Award for Nonfiction for the body of her work. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. You can visit her at DianeStanley.com.
Jessie Hartland is the author and illustrator many nonfiction titles for young readers, including Our Flag Was Still There, which was named a Bank Street Best Book of the Year. The New York Times praised her “joyful folk-art illustrations” in Harlem Grown, written by Tony Hillery. She has painted murals at a Japanese amusement park, designed Christmas windows for Bloomingdale’s, and put her mark on ceramics, watches, and all sorts of other things. She has done drawings for many magazines and newspapers, including TheNew York Times, Traveland Leisure Family Club, Martha Stewart Kids, and Bon Appétit. She lives in New York City. Visit her at JessieHartland.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (October 20, 2016)
Stanley has been delighting and informing readers with her biographies for years, and here, her considerable talents are once again on display. . . . Hartland’s charmingly busy art, reminiscent of Maira Kalman’s work, is full of wit—calculations sweep across pages—and meshes well with Stanley’s inviting text. This is a solid addition to STEM studies, yes, but, also a great choice for any biography lovers.
– Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
Complementing the clear prose, Hartland's whimsical gouache pictures portray white figures with coral lips and in period dress. Gestural brushstrokes loosely evoke landscapes and interiors, yet scores of objects—from book titles and period toys to an omnipresent cat—provide plentiful visual interest. Pithy narrative plus charming pictures equals an admiring, admirable portrait of a STEM pioneer.
– Kirkus Reviews
Stanley delivers a breezy but insightful overview of the curiosity and determination that drove Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) to pursue her intellectual passions, tracing her childhood dreams of flight, her friendship and working relationship with Charles Babbage, and her pioneering programming work in service of promoting Babbage’s Analytical Machine. Hartland keeps the mood light in loopy gouache cartoons that humorously portray Lovelace as the creative and intelligent product of parents “as different as chalk and cheese”; in facing family portraits, the “rational, respectable, and strict” Lady Byron stares uncomfortably at her husband, Lord Byron, who looks rakish in multiple senses of the word. An author’s note and timeline conclude a thoroughly engaging look at a trailblazing mathematical mind.
– Publishers Weekly, August 15, 2016
Awards and Honors
ALA Notable Children's Books
CCBC Choices (Cooperative Children's Book Council)
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