Clever Hans

Clever Hans❰BOOKS❯ ✯ Clever Hans Author Kerri Kokias – The true story of the incredible horse whose smarts stumped all of Berlin and changed science brought to life by NYT #1 bestselling illustrator Mike LoweryClever Hans was a horse who could do math pro The true story of the incredible horse whose smarts stumped all of Berlin and changed science brought to life by NYT bestselling illustrator Mike LoweryClever Hans was a horse who could do math problems tell time read spell and or could heEven after seeing Hans answer uestions correctly some people thought it must be a hoax Scientists began to investigate Eventually one scientist had a groundbreaking aha moment and realized Hans was clever in a way no one had even imaginedTurns out Hans was so smart he changed science. A good old fashioned historical mystery By gum that’s what we need to see of on our library shelves Look here you want to get your kids interested in history but you want to stick to y’know the facts? Well let’s see what we can do about making a list of nonfiction picture books that provide precisely that Better yet let’s make that list together I’ll go first Clever Hans by Kerri Kokias and Mike Lowery I’ll grant that at first it doesn’t look like a mystery On its cover that cheery looking horsey is so jovial you’d be convinced this was just some cutesy little animal tale Yet once you start reading you uickly realize that there’s something strange going on in this story Kokias pulls together the different elements of the mystery what was truly happening with Clever Hans? weaving together the tale until by the end you’re just desperate for the truth A super intelligent horse? Talk about a title that booktalks itself If you have kids that just can’t get into nonfiction allow me to introduce you to my little euine friendPicture in your mind a horse A horse capable of wonders This is a horse that can add subtract tell time divide do fractions and much much Raised by ex schoolteacher Wilhelm von Osten Hans the horse in uestion was a divisive figure Skeptics were convinced it was all an elaborate hoax but no one could figure out how it was done And when scientists studied Hans they saw that it wasn’t a trick but they still didn’t believe he was this genius animal everyone claimed he was Enter Oskar Pfungst a scientist’s assistant who was the first to realize that Hans seemed to rely on visual cues to answer uestions How did he do it? The answer lies in “the Clever Hans effect” which scientists now pay close attention to even today Contains an Author’s Note and Bibliography at the back of the bookI do this thing when I really like a book where I’ll flip to the back flap to see what other books the author has done before I tend to do this these days with nonfiction picture books I dunno but sometimes I feel like the really and truly outstanding ones I see are the product of this perfect alignment of editor author artist and designer Kerri Kokias once wrote a sweet little picture book called Snow Sisters and nothing about that book would give you the slightest indication that she had a Clever Hans waiting in the wings With this title right out the gate Kokias is doing so much right She isn’t deep diving into fake dialogue or trying to tell us what Hans is thinking at a given moment Plus look at how she’s laid out all the information We meet Mr Wilhelm von Osten and Hans right away and immediately we’re swept up by the excitement of everything the horse is capable of We’re exactly like the people in the audience witnessing before our eyes the impossible Maybe we really want to believe Hans is capable of all the great things they say and when people come to disprove his capabilities Kokias doesn’t paint them as killjoys In fact Oskar Pfungst is clearly the hero of the book and when his studies lead him to new discoveries the book deftly dips into human physical reactions before returning once to the horse Do I wish the backmatter had a timeline? Absolutely but at least there’s a mention of the date in the art at the beginning of the book Other titles fail to do that much sometimesOf course the first book I thought of when I saw this one was Step Right Up How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World About Kindness by Donna Janell Bowman with art by Daniel Minter On the surface the two books seem to have a lot in common A kind man has a horse and wishes to share its intelligence with the world The horse is able to read write and do math The difference however comes in the presentation Bowman’s book takes place not too long after the end of the Civil War and never sets out to explain Jim Key’s abilities focusing instead on his owner’s message of love and tolerance Clever Hans in contrast likes the horse well enough but is interested in how this story plays into a larger picture of the way scientists work with animals and that includes people today You could have a very interesting reading unit comparing the two books to one another with kids Though diametrically opposed in some ways they say a lot about the role animals play in our minds verses our livesI sincerely believe that editors should be credited on the covers of the books they work on At the very least they should get their names on the books’ publication pages After all they tend to be the ones that are so key to a book’s final success When the editor of this book received the Clever Hans manuscript I would love to know what thought process led them to believe that Mike Lowery was the right man to illustrate it It’s not that Lowery isn’t a pro at nonfiction if you haven’t seen his Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs then you are living a half life my friend but too often I associate him with his stellar work on Mac Barnett’s Mac B Kid Spy series This is why I am not an editor I would have missed this golden opportunity to pair Lowery with this truly fun text For his part the man finds humor where he can and in this book he decided to lean way way into its German setting Dust off your high school lessons folks because you’re about to get a whole heaping helpful of Guten Tags and kluge pferds coming your way Lowery’s is a cartoony style rendered in pencil screen printing and digital color It’s also engaging and enticing to young readers Kids take one look at that cover and want to read the book even if they don’t care diddly over suat about horsey stuff And when you reread the book a couple times that’s when you start to notice the typography panels and even colors at work somehow the artist has managed to invoke sepia without letting it overwhelm the read Lowery’s style is not now that I think about it all that different from Meghan McCarthy’s in Seabiscuit the Wonder Horse Both artists cultivate a deep respect for their nonfiction material while also luring in the kid readers with fun graphics There’s an art to what they do trust meI don’t think it’s ridiculous at all to suggest that this book pretty much has it all For the animal lovers a cute and smart Kokias points out that when it came to reading physical cues Hans lived up the “clever” in his name colt For the mystery lovers a true tale that lays out the clues the detectives and the surprising solution And for lovers of science this is a superb recounting of how people learn about the natural world around them and build upon that knowledge Without this particular horse some scientists would be less effective at their jobs The older I get the remarkable I find the people individuals and yes animals that single handedly change the course of history As the book puts so well in its Author’s Note “Clever Hans helped change the way scientists work today He really was clever to have such a lasting impact on history” To say nothing of the impact this book will have on kids For ages 6 and up Love love love This nonfiction picture book about Clever Hans a German horse who some thought could add count and tell time is reminiscent of Meghan McCarthy's work It combines cartoony humorous illustrations with a fascinating and little known true story to make a really appealing work of nonfiction I appreciated the author's note that explained why Clever Hans is important to modern research and I loved that the book emphasizes the ways that Hans really was clever even if not in exactly the ways that people originally thought This is a great book about the scientific process and a fun animal story in one A winner Perfect for givingsharingreading with all Intro to Psych students in high school or collegePerfect for elementary science and social studies classesPerfect for horse fans history buffs mystery lovers and anyone else who is curious about intelligence of the animal and human variety ;Illustrated in a humorous and engaging style by uber talented Mike Lowery Kerri Kokias' text is smart clear and even clever than Hans himselfwell read it and find out A clever picture book about a clever horse and the clever people who discovered how Hans got his smarts A lesson in scientific inuiry and criticalcreative thinking that is both fun and engaging kids will love it Includes back matter In 1904 in Berlin Germany Wilhelm von Osten had an extraordinary horse named Clever Hans Hans could count and tell time He could identify colors and the value of coins He could do math read words and knew music as well Many people didn’t believe that Hans could really do these things and assumed it was nothing but a trick Wilhelm von Osten truly believed in his horse though having spent four years teaching him using treats to keep him focused Scientists came to test Clever Hans and watch for secret signals from van Osten or others in the audience Soon the tests started to figure out how Clever Hans was doing such amazing things It wasn’t a trick but instead showed exactly how smart he actually wasKokias invites readers deep into the mystery and wonder of Clever Hans She sets up her book so that readers are presented with the amazing things that the horse can do and then bring them along on the journey of exploring what was actually happening The book is gripping and fascinating as readers steadily see their own theories dismissed by the experts and the final reveal of the truth is satisfying and fascinating The art by Lowery has a great playfulness to it that adds to the delight of the bookA book of scientific discovery that readers must finish to discover how Clever Hans does it Appropriate for ages 6 9 At the start of the 20th century in Berlin a horse known as Clever Hans became famous for the many amazing things he could apparently do from counting and telling the time to identifying colours and spelling out words using a special chart His owner Wilhelm von Osten had taught him these skills and was eager to show him off to the worldMany people of course doubted that Hans could do all of these things and believed that it was a trick and so one expert after another flocked to visit Hans and test him for themselves One by one they became convinced of his cleverness when he answered their uestions correctlyThat is until one scientist Oskar Pfungst came up with rigorous tests It turned out that Hans was indeed extremely clever just not in the way many people thoughtThis is a fascinating true story presented in a fun almost comic book style The text is sprinkled with German words that add authenticity with the English translations floating nearbyBack matter includes original photos of Hans Wilhelm von Osten and Oskar Pfungst as well as an author’s note about “the Clever Hans effect” a phenomenon named after Clever Hans and a bibliographyA fascinating read for all budding historians and scientists as well as horse lovers I love all the different ways that this uniue picture book might engage young readers Written by Kerri Kokias the story moves at a fast pace never losing the reader in facts but bringing them along for the fun Readers are likely learning basic math and will be anticipating how a horse could do the same Lovers of mystery will enjoy the tension of just how Clever Hans performs so smartly And those with a growing curiosity about science and the search for answers will appreciate not just the approach but the bit of extra backmatter All delivered by one of my favorite illustrators Mike Lowery this book is sure to spark a conversation and a re read I appreciated the clear writing of this story and the way it piued my curiosity The mystery of how Clever Hans the horse was able to do math problems is laid out in an interesting way while also introducing an important scientific and psychological concept The Clever Hans EffectUpper elementary students would probably enjoy this book the most However I can also see secondary and even university students appreciating this as an introduction to the Clever Hans Effect concept Overall this was an enjoyable read and I learned something that makes me rethink how I'll ask people uestions in the future It goes without saying that Clever Hans is a truly clever story It’s a little slice of history from Germany in 1904 which according to the author’s note still has relevance to scientific research today It combines counting and adding with a true animal story that children will adore I can envision classrooms of kids debating whether Hans was truly a mathematically gifted horse or if his remarkable counting ability was a trick The German words sprinkled throughout had me chuckling Mike Lowry’s clever illustrations Kerri Kokias’s brilliant storytelling a must read Clever Hans is a very clever book why? because it tells a historical story in a way that makes things fun The writing lays out a mystery can Clever Hans really count? Then walks readers through solving it teaching a bit about how to observe and uestion things along the way The cleverest thing by far is how engaging the story makes the process of experimenting and testing different theories Kids who love science kids who love horses kids who love mysteries pretty much all kids basically will love the story and the fantastic and funny illustrations

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  • Hardcover
  • 32 pages
  • Clever Hans
  • Kerri Kokias
  • 19 November 2016
  • 9780525514985