How and Why Stuff Gets Popular
by Kira Vermond; Clayton Hanmer
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Pub Date 15 Mar 2020 | Archive Date 26 Mar 2020
Owlkids Books, Owlkids
Established middle-grade author Kira Vermond and cartoonist Clayton Hanmer team up in this fun and accessible nonfiction look at fads. In four short chapters, the book explores what a fad is, how the latest crazes catch on, and what makes us jump on the bandwagon. Finally, it looks at the fascinating and even frightening effects of fads both modern and historic. Who knew the beaver pelt craze in 17th century Europe would change ecosystems, start wars, and disrupt life as people knew it?
Comic-strip illustrations, an upbeat tone, and reader-friendly text make this a fun and timely tool for young readers who are building critical-thinking skills in the age of fake news and a world gone viral.
Average rating from 12 members
Examples of trends in this book include Crocs, Pokemon Go, Hula Hoops, Hobble Skirts, baby names, anti-vaccination movement, quinoa, Starbucks Unicorn Frap, Beanie Boos, slime, Nazi propoganda, the Stock Market Crash of 1929, Mona Lisa, the Payola Scandal, anesthesia, and Fondue.
Topics covered: supply/demand, dopamine, individualism, exposure effect, STEPPS, investors, information cascades, stocks, Robert Zajonc, scarcity, advertisements, mania, sunk cost fallacy, progoganda
Independent reading level 8 years old-11 years old.
Ch. 1 (p.6-15) "What Makes a Fad a Fad?- How seemingly random toys, games, and fashion turn into the NEXT BIG THING", Ch. 2 (p.16-25) "Spread The Word- How fads and the ideas and feelings that drive them spread and catch fire", Ch. 3 (p.26-35) "Made, Not Born- How some fads are carefully crafted to make us want to jump on board", Ch. 4 (p.36-45) "Bad Fads- How fads can have serious and even dangerous effects", Conclusion p. 46, Index p. 48, Selected Sources p.48
Trends, fads, and popularity cannot always be proven using science or economics alone. This book takes into account other elements that can help provide popular trends. For example, it notes that sometimes trends start just by word of mouth.
However, trends do not always stem from one single cause; and instead of providing the different and various reasons that provoked the trend, it only focuses one one solid reason behind each trend. For example, this book contributes the popularity of fondue as a result of Swiss advertisements alone. Rather than involving other factors, fondue is stated to have been a trend solely because of Swiss ads. But, I can see that by keeping it simple allows it to be more comprehensible for kids. In order for kids to understand easily, these are surface level explanations.
I recommend this book for classrooms.
Thank you to NetGalley and OwlKids Books for an advanced copy. Opinions are my own.