November 11, 2019


Written and illustrated by Kim Smith
HarperCollins Canada
40 pp.
Ages 4-7
September 2019

Whether cats or kids, boxes are a source of endless fascination and play.  Now, with the proliferation of makerspaces in libraries and play-based learning in kindergarten, building with materials such as boxes is all the rage, as it is for Meg, an architect whose medium is boxes.
From Boxitects by Kim Smith
Meg's mother, supportive of her child's creative endeavours, sends her to Maker School where there are "blanketeers, spaghetti-tects, tin-foilers, and egg-cartoneers" but, as a boxitect, Meg is a unique. There she learns about making structures useful, strong and beautiful.
From Boxitects by Kim Smith
Then a new kid arrives and she is an amazing boxitect too. But Simone does not hold back her advice to Meg, directing her how to improve her structures. So Meg reciprocates. The two little makers are obviously more interested in showing who is the better boxitect than working together, and this poses a problem when the annual Maker Match is announced and the children must work in teams. Unfortunately Meg wants to build a tree house and Simone is determined to construct a ship so the two children begin to create their own structures, each continuing to amend their own to be taller and more impressive. It's not until a catastrophe befalls the structure that Meg and Simone learn some valuable lessons about working with others to create.
From Boxitects by Kim Smith
Kim Smith, who illustrated the Ice Chips series by Roy MacGregor and Kerry MacGregor (HarperCollins Canada), adds the whimsy to her art through her use of colour and shape. There is no mistaking the boldness of Meg and Simone's creative work in the Calgary artist's illustrations produced digitally with Photoshop. Through edges straight, scalloped and round, doorways and flags of various shapes, and bright tints and patterns, Meg and Simone's maker structures reach the stars, fly off the pages, and spill out of the makerspace. They show the impact of exploration and imagination and encourage thinking outside the box. With her own originality of thought and art, Kim Smith demonstrates to little ones that looking at problem-solving from a different perspective or discovering new ways of expression is a win-win for makers big and small.
From Boxitects by Kim Smith

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