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November 2018 Book of the Month | Max Einstein is a genius; aged 12 she’s already enrolled herself at university, where she’s careful to score perfect Cs in every test (she doesn’t want to stand out). She’s also an orphan who lives in a squat. Two very different groups of people have plans for Max though – the CMI (Change Makers Institute) and the equally mysterious but far more sinister Corp. Whisked away to study with other super-brainy kids, she’s challenged to bring about real change for good. The spirit of Einstein runs through this – it’s endorsed by the Einstein Archives – and in particular his belief that the imagination is more important than knowledge. Max uses her imagination and compassion together to dream up ways to improve the world. If anyone’s going to save the planet it will have to be the next generation, and this book could be the inspiration they need. As with lots of Patterson’s children’s books, this is smart, funny and fast moving, with real heart beneath the slick packaging.
In the name of science, this book allows children to create gloopy, magic slime; turn milk sour; and investigate their own farts. Well, you can’t say you weren’t warned: seldom has a title so accurately reflected the contents of a book. Sticky and stinky as the 32 experiments are however, they teach proper science, and each one is accompanied by a page of clear explanation of the different processes involved. There’s a page recommending further reading and a useful glossary, and the unorthodox approach could well inspire lots more science learning. Grown-ups can be reassured that amongst other things, the ‘rules of the lab’ emphasise the importance of cleaning up afterwards.
STEM skills (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) are important to all aspects of our lives, from construction to space exploration, from the digital world to caring for the natural one. Here are 40 quick, easy to access STEM activities that can be done just as easily at home as at school; you don’t need to be an expert to carry them out, and yes, they really do take just 15 minutes. They are all hands on and will encourage curiosity, for example, experimenting with soap bubbles explains tensile structure, Newton’s third law of motion is demonstrated using a balloon and some bits of cardboard, while you can find out about kinetic energy while making a catapult. Practical, fun and instructive.
Via simple but elegant illustrations, and a gentle sometimes playful rhyming text, this picture book passes on all sorts of information about water and its importance, while never losing the sense of the beauty of this essential element. Words and illustrations take us back in time to the beginning of life on Earth, up hills and deep below the surface to explain that “clouds, rain, river, sea, water cycles endlessly”. Carefully placed splashes of colour underscore pages of different blues, the tinkling rhythm of the text bringing a sense of calm. It all concludes with five fascinating facts about the “world wide wet” and this is a book to savour on lots of different levels.
First Names is a series of fun, lively and highly illustrated biographies that introduces some truly amazing individuals who lived incredible lives, to an audience of young readers. And Elon Musk is definitely one to watch - he's a multi-billionaire, mega-brain entrepreneur who's building the world's biggest space rocket and some awesome electric cars too. And those are just a couple of Mr Musk's many projects. Find out what drove him to shovel gloop, how parties helped fund his college years and why he wants to move millions of people to Mars. Get to know Elon on first name terms!
As the issue of plastic pollution on land and in the oceans becomes ever more urgent, children need to understand what is going on, why and what steps they can do to change things. This book explains in clear text and abundant photographs what plastic is, how it is used, and why it’s a problem for the world. In addition to presenting the facts, it challenges young people to think about what they can do to help as well as including the latest information on plastic replacements – packaging made from seaweed for example. A useful, effective and stimulating information book.
The human body is amazing, ‘the most incredible machine on Earth’ says this book, which explains exactly how it works, from the inside out. Over colourful, clearly designed pages, featuring detailed illustrations, it peels back the layers of the human body to examine the individual body systems, from the integumentary system (skin, hair and nails), through the muscular system, skeletal system, digestive system, right up to and including DNA, in a chapter What makes me who I am? Questions are asked throughout in fact, making it highly interactive and engaging, and some of them provoke the response, ‘Yuk’ (Is it true you can drink your own urine). With a neat reference guide to the body tucked inside the front cover, and useful glossary at the back, this book is well thought out and informative from beginning to end.
This clever, hugely entertaining book is further proof, if it were needed, that football is the best game in the world, and that there is nothing, absolutely nothing, you can’t learn from studying it. Authors Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton teach physics through looking at the shape of the ball and how it is constructed; geography by examining pitches; business studies via the transfer market (of course); and psychology by studying managerial techniques (from Klopp to Fergie). They also include a section on ‘after school activities’, chapters specifically designed to help you improve your health and concentration skills. Even if you don’t much like football, you’ll be inspired and informed by this book, and it’s a real winner. ~ Andrea Reece
Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder: Adventures in Science round the kitchen table will help families appreciate the wonders of science together. This is not a book just for children, it's a book for the grown-ups too who want to enthuse and inspire young people through science but may not themselves know the answers. Why does the ...? What is ...? How does ...? Why is ...? What are all the parts of a flower? I don't know!... But soon you will. Every child can be a scientist with the help of Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder. This is the perfect book to help create a scientifically inclined young mind as much as it is for an already scientifically inclined young mind. A message from the author: "When scientists are asked what inspired their career choices, they tend to fall into two groups: people who claim they always had a drive to understand the natural world (and have stories about how they did experiments in their parents' garages); and those who credit 'a good teacher'. I fall into the latter camp - I took no interest in science until I was about 14, when I finally had science teachers who made me see the joy and wonder in the subject. With my book Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder, I wanted to do more than provide the kind of step-by-step instructions you can find in countless other books: I wanted to equip parents with the skills they need to help their children engage more deeply with scientific ways of thinking. I appreciate that some people are turned off science by their experiences at school, while others may be put off by its apparent complexity or lack of relevance to their daily lives. With Mr Shaha's Recipes for Wonder, I'm hopeful that I can help such people to re-engage with science so they can help their own children get the most out of what the subject has to offer. I firmly believe that science can enrich our lives as much as literature, art, or music can, when we approach it in a way that is appropriate to our own needs and wants."
With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world! Women in the Little People, Big Dreams series include:Ada LovelaceAgatha ChristieAmelia EarhartAudrey HepburnCoco ChanelElla FitzgeraldFrida KahloMarie CurieMaya AngelouRosa Parks We have a special category for the Little People, Big Dreams series. Click here to view them all.
Join a group of school children on this voyage of discovery and discover the answers to lots of questions as well as fascinating facts about lighthouses and how they work. How Does a Lighthouse Work? provides a fascinating journey through the science and history of lighthouses around the world. Through history a lighthouse has been an important, in fact essential tool for sailors to navigate safely and this remains so today in order to protect all sailors from the dangerous coastlines and rocky outcrops out to sea that are found all over the world. Modern technology may have changed the way that lighthouses work but still their USP remains the same: to deliver a light as far as possible to forewarn sailors of potential dangers. This a terrific book to share with inquisitive children and the combination of stunning illustrations and interesting text makes this a well worthwile read both at home and to use in the classroom.
Who doesn’t like playing with balloons and bubbles? Now you can have all the fun and learn about science at the same time. There are 35 different activities in this book, each using a balloon or bubbles and, mostly, everyday household objects as equipment, from dried yeast to bubble wrap. There’s a strong ‘wow factor’ to the experiments, whether that’s making a long snake of colourful bubbles, or pushing a bamboo skewer through a balloon without causing it to pop, and they’re clearly explained with the help of illustrations and photographs. Each activity features paragraphs called ‘let’s investigate’ and ‘inside the science’ which explain the processes involved. Fascinating, informative stuff, and there’s even a chapter on cooking with bubbles – after all, what’s cooking if not science? ~ Andrea Reece
Check out the latest activities in our KidsZone.