Book reviews: Super science, amazing museums and a baby monster
Age 8 plus:Rebel Science by Dan Green and David Lyttleton
If you thought science was dull and that scientists were boring eggheads in white coats who hang about in labs and don’t have any friends, then you’re in for a big surprise.
Dan Green – a man determined to make science fun, fascinating and accessible – has been putting some of the biggest names in science under the microscope… and come up with some explosive discoveries!
Because the truth is that science isn’t always an exact science and this brilliantly entertaining book, packed with David Lyttleton’s dynamic illustrations, reveals that without some hair-raising, catastrophic mess-ups, the world might never have known some modern marvels, miraculous medicines and magnificent machines.
It seems that those brainy scientists of history were extraordinarily clever but that doesn’t mean they were always right. They made mistakes, they argued, they performed strange experiments, they took risks, they broke the rules, they were dangerous… and yes, many of them were rebels.
The scientists did all this to push the boundaries of science and get to the truth, and now you can find out just exactly how they did it and the amazing truth about the biggest blunders and most unexpected successes ever to happen in the lab.
Dan Green leads us down the long and twisting road of science and through the most remarkable stories as we meet the ground-breaking boffins who helped to rewrite the science books.
Story Pages introduce all the major scientists and explain what they did. Dead Ends along the journey show how and why they went wrong. Face-off features Big Brain Battles between brilliant boffins and Lesson Pages put us in the classroom with history’s greatest geniuses.
Get the inside stories on the big names behind the discovery of the solar system, learn about Galileo’s heavyweight scraps with the Church over Earth’s place in the cosmos, meet the rabble-rouser scientists who challenged ideas about the Earth’s formation and the rebels who ripped up the rule book when it came to atomic theories.
Anatomy, the elements, microbes, light rays, genes, organisms and the mystery of life itself all take centre stage in a book packed with formidable facts, fearless rebels and hours of scientific fun.Beautifully presented and fully accessible to middle grade children, this is science perfectly pitched and cleverly created for use at home or at school. Learning about
science really can be fun!(Weldon Owen Publishing, hardback, Â£12.99)
Age 8 plus:Historium Activity Book Curated by Richard Wilkinson and Jo Nelson
And now the holidays are here, hands up those getting ready to visit a museum?
Big Picture Press has a fun new addition to its innovative Welcome to the Museum series which includes factual, activity and colouring books and encourages children to get hands-on in the museum.
Discover a world of ancient artefacts in the Historium Activity Book which offers informative, imaginative and artistic activities for young historians everywhere. Packed with puzzles to solve, pictures to colour, doodling, drawing and lots more, youngsters can find their way through an Aztec maze, decorate an Egyptian mummy, colour in a Roman mosaic or create their own Greek vase.
There are hours of entertainment to enjoy and lots of amazing facts to learn as young readers, artists and budding historians are challenged to discover something new and use their imagination to draw, decorate and design on every pull-out page.
The perfect travelling companion for the long summer holidays!(Big Picture Press, paperback, Â£8.99)
Age 2 plus:Boris Babysits by Sam Lloyd
Some picture books are monstrously good… and this one takes the prize!
The ever-inventive and talented author and illustrator Sam Lloyd works her picture book magic in a new adventure for Boris, an orange, hairy, over-enthusiastic but very loving little monster whose good intentions always seem to end in disaster.
In Boris Babysits, young readers are guaranteed to become very attached – literally! – to a rather cute and furry baby monster who has been left in the tender care of forgetful Boris and might need a helping hand from his hairy mishaps.
The delightful purple Monster Baby dangles on the end of a colourful ribbon for little hands to play with and attach to each page enabling youngsters to get stuck into the story action and enjoy some entertaining reading role play.
Monster Mummy is going shopping, so Boris is babysitting for Monster Baby. Unfortunately, Boris isn't very good at babysitting. He plonks Monster Baby in the dog basket, forgets to feed him and falls fast asleep when he should be putting baby to bed. Can you help Boris babysit before things get really out of hand? There’s a lot of looking after to do!
This hilarious follow-up to the bestselling Calm Down, Boris! is another surefire winner for Lloyd who has picked up many awards including the Booktrust Pre-School Award, the V&A Illustration Award, the Roald Dahl Funny Prize and the Richard & Judy Best Children’s Book.
The hands-on approach to reading!(Templar Publishing, hardback, Â£9.99)
Age 2 plus:The Fox and the Wild by Clive McFarland
Take off with urban fox Fred as he sets out on a dangerous journey to discover if the wild and wonderful countryside really does exist.
Using his trademark paint, crayons and cut paper to create eye-catching textured illustrations, Clive McFarland weaves a clever, colourful picture book story of adventure, ambition and daring with a topical environmental message. Fred is a city fox who was born and raised amid the streets and buildings. But the city is a scary place for a fox like Fred. It’s noisy, smoky, it can be hard to find food and it’s often dangerous and unfriendly.
One day Fred sees a flock of birds flying away over the city roofs. ‘Where do you go?’ he calls but they don’t hear him. And so Fred sets off to find the wild. All the other city animals say that there is no such place, but Fred knows better… or does he?
With its delightful twist in the tail and charming, collage-based illustrations, this is a fabulous, foxy picture story for all young animal lovers.(Templar Publishing, paperback, Â£6.99)