Monday, July 4, 2011
S Is For Scientists, written by Larry Verstraete and illustrated by David Geister. Sleeping Bear Press, 2010. $18.95 ages 8 and up
I'm always quick to say that science is not my forte. That doesn't mean I am not interested in what scientists have done to make their mark on our world. In this alphabetic journey, Larry Verstraete gives us the facts and stories in accessible text and invites readers to think about the many who have explored new concepts and ideas, and provided the world with original and amazing products and research.
Each letter offers a story or fact in two text types. One is a poem and the other is prose. Similar to other books from Sleeping Bear Press, this is a journey through the alphabet offering readers insights and views about the varied and wondrous world of science. From Stephanie Kwolek, a Dupont chemist, whose work with polymers produced Kevlar, to Thor Heyerdahl's Pacific voyage, to Katy Payne who found that elephants keep in contact with one another using hundreds of different calls, there is much to fascinate the reading audience. Their stories intrigue and inspire.
David Geister has created impressive artwork to accompany each of the entries. They are realistic and detailed to help provide a guide for children as they read along. He obviously did his research, drawing accurate renderings for the time and place of the many discoveries and wonders that are included here.
This is a commendable book for use with children who are interested in science, and for those who are not. It encourages them to think deeply about the world and many of those things we take for granted. It encourages them to ask questions that might someday lead to a new discovery.
As the author says:
“What scientists discover
changes us all
and brings more questions –
some big, others small.
So read their stories
and wonder, too.
What questions do you have?
What discoveries await you?”