The amazing thing about picture books is that they aren’t just for children. Adults can learn from them, too. Thus is the case of National Geographic Kids’ latest picture book, Little Kids First BIG Book of Science, by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld.
The book opens by considering “how scientists observe and think about the world and how they go about finding answers.” Readers discover that scientists learn about the world by asking simple questions, like: “How far away is the moon?” “Will it rain today?” or, “How can I make my car go faster?” And since most young readers have similar questions about the world around them, they are advised that they are already thinking like scientists.
Next, readers learn how to form a hypothesis (thinking an answer is right), prove the hypothesis by conducting an experiment, and keep a journal of notes and observations. Readers learn about the different types of scientists, the types of science (life, earth and physical), the commonalities and differences in living things, and even the human body.
This book is brimming with just as much fun as knowledge, and is perfect for young children and anyone else (guardian, parent or teacher) with a love of nature and discovery. There are amazing pictures of insects, planets, outer space, and enormous dinosaur bones. There are pictures of astronauts floating in space, children using magnifying glasses to observe delicate insects, and also real and imagined images of the planets in our solar system.
The prose is vibrant and age appropriate, the font is oversized for easy reading, and the content unfolds in logical sequences that make learning intuitive and fun. There is even a great chapter on inventions at the end.
This one should be excellent as a supplement to a typical early elementary science curriculum. It is also great for home use for the outdoor-lover, the nature enthusiast, or the up-and-coming science geek.