Young children who love to imagine, experiment, and create will love the new Thames & Hudson activity book called This Book Thinks You’re a Scientist.

Compiled as much for fun as for learning, this London Science Museum creation is 95 pages of discovery and adventure. Its opening pages encourages children ages 7 to 10 to learn to observe random objects, run tests on themselves, solve mathematical problems, and even design new constellations for the night skies. Children invent a new type of power station, learn how to make water freeze in seconds, and even design original musical instruments.


There is a page for children to draw themselves as a superhero and their best friend as their sidekick (P.6), a super-fun activity page where a student finds the most random object he or she can and then answer questions about it (like what the object smells like; what the object will be doing in 10 years) (P.9), and a challenge page where students should “color the shapes they see using the smallest possible number of colors so that no two spaces share an edge of the same color” (P.24).

There are mirror trick challenges (P.40), paper plane race challenges (P.67), a drop race drip challenge where children determine which liquid (oil, water, ketchup, honey) drips fastest (P.81), and an exciting procedure for creating an obstacle course for light (P.42).

This is a unique book that should keep children smiling–and experimenting–for a long time. If there is one quibble it is that there do not appear to be any children-of-color among the young scientists in the book. There is an actual photograph of a track runner who appears to be of color (P.13), but he is not one of the scientists; he is simply an example of what happens when a person walks or runs. Since young children clamor to see images of children who look like them, this is an important omission and will hopefully be rectified in the future.

This aside, this is an adorable little book with lively illustrations by artist Harriet Russell and easy-to-read-and-follow directions to jump-start any child’s career as a scientist. Use it during independent reading, or in science or lab classrooms.


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