ZUCKERMAN, Amy & James Daly. 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow’s Kids. illus. by John Manders. unpaged. bibliog. Web sites. CIP. Dutton. Mar. 2009. RTE $16.99. ISBN 978-0-525-47860-7. LC 2008014606.
Gr 3-5–A talking dog, a housecleaning robot, and a three-dimensional “data orb” are among the many cool features that kids might enjoy in the future, according to this lighthearted look at 2030. The breezy narrative follows one boy through a typical day, highlighting many interesting aspects of his world. Fanciful cartoon drawings show a lively and appealing world full of new and intriguing activities that correspond neatly to modern equivalents. Schools are now made from plasticized blocks that snap together, for example, while recess features virtual batting practice and a “smart trampoline.” Recreational activities include magnetized hovering skateboards and a virtual-reality “Fanta-trek Center.” Some social changes are briefly noted, such as new career paths and the increase of marriages between different ethnicities. Interaction with the natural world is not mentioned, although many of the new technologies have eco-friendly components and the food is all meatless and delicious. Illustrated sidebars provide a bit of additional information or background, but the emphasis here is more on what new technologies will do, rather than how they will work. The one exception to the fun comes in an inset paragraph about overpopulation and starvation in Africa, a jarring bit of realism in this otherwise worry-free existence. The day ends with a neat twist as the boy reaches for his favorite type of entertainment, which the final page turn reveals as “reading a book.”
—Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, OR