The Cardboard Boat Race

Putney and the Magic eyePad–Book 2

Children - Grade 4th-6th
298 Pages
Reviewed on 09/22/2020
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Author Biography

Marsha Tufft loves her family, dogs, butterflies, swimming, the ocean, teaching her dogs cool tricks, sewing, quilting, painting, and solving problems by coming up with her own designs. She’s a retired engineer, with degrees in mechanical (BSME), aerospace (MSAsE), and materials engineering (PhD), and enjoys developing experiments targeting girls to give them fun experiences with science, engineering, and math.

Marsha also has a passion for butterflies, and has raised monarchs, black swallowtails, and zebra swallowtails from caterpillars, capturing the magical moments of metamorphosis on camera. While working on her Ph.D., she also studied aerodynamics of flapping insect flight, and has a cool experiment to show the flow field around a butterfly’s clap and fling take-off.

Because math is so important to success in STEM fields–science, technology, engineering, and math–Marsha has fun experiments that show the magic and power of math.

Marsha blogs about her projects, designs, and STEM experiments at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

The Cardboard Boat Race: Putney and the Magic eyePad–Book 2 by MK Tufft is a young reader's dream. The author has created a work of entertaining fiction with STEM in mind. It's education wrapped in a fantastic story, and you can't get much better than that--way tastier than medicine disguised in sugar. This is book 2 of 3 in a series, and has characters, situations, and themes children grades 4 through 6 can relate to. Let's start with math phobia. Putney is tasked with designing a cardboard boat for a school project, but is paired with Sue, her biggest adversary. How will that work out? Then we can mix in physics, science, engineering, creativity, art, and magic, of course. This offering is chock-full of ideas, projects, and practical solutions. If you're a young reader challenged by certain subjects or even an adult, or just want a good adventure, this book is for you.

Tufft is gifted at spinning information into a captivating story. As you read, you'll realize right away that the author's heart (and brain) are in the right place--centered on children, the concepts they can learn, and how they can learn it. As Tufft shows, learning should be about more than facts and figures--it should be an amazing adventure. This is the beauty of the book. Besides being educational, this book is also a guide for thoughtful behavior, good choices, and better interpersonal communication. The academics can be used in the classroom, and life lessons can be used in real-world situations. Overall, the book teaches children to think for themselves and figure things out. The illustrations add an even better understanding of the story. The plot is fresh, the characters are resourceful, the dialogue is energetic--a perfect combination of all the elements you'd want in a children's book. Don't pass up the opportunity to read or gift The Cardboard Boat Race by MK Tufft.