Tag Archives: science

The Vast Wonder of the World (Biologist Ernest Everett Just)

Written by: Mélina Mangal

Illustrated by: Luisa Uribe

For ages: 5 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Black Culture & Identity, Scientists, Historical Figure, Outdoors, Natural World, Trailblazers, Curiosity, Education, Racism. 

Summary: 

In 1911, Ernest was a scientist in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  Woods Hole is on Cape Cod, and still a massive town for oceanic research today!  Ernest was gifted at caring for the creatures he took from the ocean, when others weren’t so careful, and Ernest was gifted at seeing the whole picture instead of just the tiny piece he was currently researching.  Ernest was especially gifted at studying how life begins from an egg, and became the entire world’s leading authority!

Ernest loved reading, but as a child had to relearn to read all over again after he contracted typhoid fever.  He observed everything around him, especially the natural world.  Ernest left the segregated South for boarding school, but when his mother died he didn’t know how to cope, so he just studied harder.  When he took a biology class in college, his entire world opened up and his lifelong fascination with cells began.  Ernest became a professor and taught his students to care for both the organisms they studied and their scientific instruments, to be kind and to observe as much as possible.  When he showed that the egg was just as important as the sperm in creating new life, he became world-famous and often worked in Europe where he was treated better.  He eventually moved with his family to France and became an independent researcher.

This book’s storyline is gorgeous, and the illustrations stunning. The story addresses both science and the systemic racism and oppression that Ernest faced because he was Black, despite being one of the most talented and intelligent biologists in the country.  In the back there is a lengthy Author’s note with a photo of Ernest, and timeline of his life, detailed information about his scientific work, and some quotes by Ernest himself.  This is a beautiful book and we are glad we found this to learn about someone new in the scientific world that worked for so many years nearby where we live!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

melina-mangalMélina Mangal loves being outdoors! From her website: “My earliest memories begin near the shores of Lake Superior, climbing trees, collecting rocks, and listening to birds. I love writing about nature and its place in young people’s lives.  Stories from faraway times and places have always captured my imagination as well.  I like to imagine what life was like as I walk along the river, or visit an historical site.  I work as an elementary school librarian, introducing students to great books, the exciting research process, and new technology.”

image-asset-4Luisa Uribe is an illustrator “living in Bogotá, Colombia. I love children’s books but venture into other fields from time to time. My favorite activities in no particular order are drawing, reading and chasing the cat around the house.”

Atlas of Ocean Adventures

Written by: Emily Hawkins

Illustrated by: Lucy Letherland

For ages: 7 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Nature, Natural World, Scientific Thinking, Discovery. 

Summary: This book is part of a larger set of atlas’ by Quarto as part of their Wide Eyed Editions books, focusing on curiosity and learning.  This is the only book in the series that we’ve seen (we won this in a giveaway) but the other books look amazing too!  We love to feature nature and science books as part of our beliefs that everyone can be a scientist, despite there sometimes being a single example of what a scientist is.  The world is an amazing place that needs diverse explorers and scientists to help solve life’s mysteries and to protect our precious natural resources and wild animals.

This is a massive book jam packed full of oceanic knowledge and adventure inspiration!  The entire book is beautiful and organized, with a helpful contents page at the beginning and an index at the end.  The illustrations make us want to grab some flippers and hop on into the water, searching for otters and whale sharks to befriend!  The atlas also does a lovely job of explaining the wonders of the aquatic world, and where they are in the world.  Lots of information is on the pages, but it doesn’t overwhelm the illustrations which are the star of the show here.  This is a great coffee-table book, and a must-have for the burgeoning marine biologist on your life!

There is even a “Can You Find?” section in the back right before the index!  There are a bunch of animals to seek out through the entire book, making another activity for readers.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

711233d6Lucy Letherland is an illustrator based in London, UK. She graduated from Manchester School of Art in 2011 with a First Class BA (Hons) in Illustration with Animation. Lucy’s work is strongly led by humour and narrative, creating a playful graphic quality. She uses a mix of hand-drawn and digital techniques to produce lively illustrations filled with detail.
In 2014 Lucy’s first picture book for children, Atlas of Adventures, was published by Wide Eyed Editions. It went on to win the UK Educational Writer’s Award 2015, and was also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, The English Association’s 4-11 Picture Book Awards, and the UKLA Book Award 2016.
Her second, Atlas of Animal Adventures, won the Children’s Travel Book of the Year in the Edward Stanford Awards 2016.
B1LWRxb3lVS._US230_Emily Hawkins is a children’s author who loves making complicated things easy to understand. She has written books about all sorts of things, from cars, trains and ships to dinosaurs, magic tricks and mathematics. She co-wrote the Atlas of Animal Adventures (illustrated by Lucy Letherland), which won the Children’s Travel Book of the Year Award in 2016. Emily has also written several titles in the internationally popular Ology series, which has sold over 16 million copies worldwide. She holds a first-class English degree from Nottingham University, and lives in Winchester, England, with her young family.

Happy in our Skin

Written by: Fran Manushkin

Illustrated by: Lauren Tobia

For ages: 2-5 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Global Community, Skin Tones, Science, Independent Thought, Identities, Friendship, Kindness.

Summary: This is a really cute, short rhyming book that celebrates not only different skin colors but different families as well!  Throughout the book the reader learns all about the wonderful things that skin does for a person, and how it can look differently for everyone.

We really love the diverse representation present in these illustrations.  Right off the bat, the cover image shows a young girl of color in a wheelchair with a soccer ball playing with other kids running and scootering outside!  There are other fabulous examples of diverse families with gay parents, different families with religious head coverings, a child with a large birthmark on their cheek, and a long-haired child with very strong eyebrows.  Lauren Tobia has illustrated an incredibly fantastic representation of what life really looks like in many different environments.  The text is simple and the rhymes would be really fun to say out loud with a group!  This is a book that truly celebrates kindness, community, and loving the unique skin you were born in.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

FranM_0Fran Manushkin is a prolific writer that has been at it for many years!  Here is an excerpt from her website, so you can get to know a little more about her:

“I wasn’t born in a log cabin, although I do come from the Land of Lincoln–Illinois. I grew up in Chicago with five brothers and sisters and one dog, Snowball. I loved to read, but had absolutely no inkling that I could grow up to be a writer. I thought all writers had triple names, like my favorite, Maud Hart Lovelace, and that they had entire books waiting in their heads, and simply wrote them down, lickety-split.

I always knew I wanted to work with children, so I got a B.A. in education from Chicago Teacher’s College. After graduation, I moved to New York City. My great good fortune came when I met Ezra Jack Keats (author-artist of THE SNOWY DAY), who told me about an editorial assistant’s opening in the children’s book department of Harper & Row. I was hired, and for ten years I worked with two of the most brilliant editors in publishing: Ursula Nordstrom and Charlotte Zolotow.

After  becoming a junior editor, I soon had the great pleasure of discovering new talent: I did Bruce Degan’s first book, AUNT POSSOM AND THE PUMPKIN MAN, Myron Levoy’s classic, ALAN AND NAOMI, and  I also worked with Lillian Hoban on her first Arthur books.

It was Charlotte Zolotow who urged me to write my own stories, and my first book BABY (later titled BABY, COME OUT!) was published in 1972. Since then I’ve written many many books, but no thrill has ever matched that moment when I became a writer.

Because I was such a late bloomer, I am always eager to help children recognize and appreciate their gifts and begin using them NOW. When I speak at schools, I show children my messy manuscripts, the artist’s many sketches, and talk about how much stubbornness and good humor it takes to accomplish anything in life, including writing.”

Lauren_TobiaLauren Tobia was born in Bristol and have been there longer than Concord.  She doesn’t’ have a personal website that we could find, but here is some information we found from the Walker Books website:

” When I was small I would always ask for felt pens and paper for Christmas. For a short while we lived on a boat in Cornwall and my bed was in the wheel house. I could look out for miles over a huge and exciting estuary full of seabirds, interesting worms, a few scary swans and a goat that did not like me much. Although I spent much of my childhood in the city, I still got to roam a lot as a child and spent a lot of time looking at things under stones.To this day I would much prefer to draw a picture of something than write about it.

As an adult I spent many years working as an intensive care nurse in Bristol but when my children grew up I thought it was time for me to follow my dream. I went to the University of West England (U.W.E) and joined their amazing illustration course where I had the chance to learn, experiment and have a lot of fun. I live in a tiny house in south Bristol with my husband and our two unruly Jack Russell rescue dogs. When I am not drawing I am at my allotment. I have a little table and a patch of lawn where I can sit and drink tea when I should be weeding.

As an artist I draw all the time and never go anywhere without my sketchbook. I feel uncomfortable without it. I mostly draw in pencil for speed and flexibility. I get much of my inspiration from the people and places around me. I draw my family continuously and objects that I come across, from teapots to crisp packets. I love to draw animals and use them to imply human emotion and body language. Although I enjoy painting with watercolour, I work in my sketchbook most of the time and use a computer to arrange and add colour and textures to the images, which I find gives me freedom to play and experiment.”

Things you didn’t know about Lauren Tobia

  1. I am happily Dyslexic
  2. My dogs’ names are Poppy and Tilly.
  3. I can’t drive a car.
  4. I have two daughters who are very clever and wonderful (they will probably tell me off about this).
  5. On sunny days hot air balloons drift past my window.
  6. I really like cake.
  7. My favorite sandwich as a child was sausage and marmalade.
  8. I almost always wear odd socks.
  9. One of my favorite books as a child was a dog’s medical dictionary.
  10. I used to have a cat that liked to be hoovered.

 

Professor Astro Cat’s Space Rockets

Written by: Dr. Dominic Walliman

Illustrated by: Ben Newman

For ages: 4 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Space, Solar System.

Summary: Another stunning installment of the Professor Astro Cat series, this time focusing on rockets and space travel!  These books pair high-quality comic illustration with difficult concepts made easy for young science-lovers.  The book describes several methods of space travel-rockets, spaceships, satellites, and more!  One more volume that will be gracing our bookshelves for the foreseeable future.

It’s Professor Astro Cat, need we say more?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

DominicWallimanDominic Walliman is a physicist, and award-winning science writer. He is co-creator of the Professor Astro Cat science books with illustrator Ben Newman.

Dominic received his PhD in quantum device physics from the University of Birmingham, and currently works at the quantum computing company D-Wave Systems Inc. As well as writing, he enjoys making films and animations to explain science and has produced a series of online videos communicating D-Wave’s groundbreaking quantum technology and his own videos about general science.

He has been writing science books since 2011, and he aims to give children super fun and clear explanations of science through the adventures of Professor Astro Cat. He grew up reading science books and remembers vividly the excitement of discovering the mind boggling explanations that science gives us about the Universe. If he can pass on this wonder and enjoyment to the next generation, he will consider it a job well done.

 

Desk-shotBen Newman has developed a distinct aesthetic over the years; a contemporary fusion of bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters which has been described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, including the Tate Modern, New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Google and The New Yorker. His practice extends outside of commercial work into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three dimensional collaborations. Nowadays, he spends the majority of his time collaborating on the Professor Astro Cat children’s books with his longtime friend and scientist, Dr Dominic Walliman, which are published by Flying Eye Books and have been translated into 18 other languages.

Concurrent to working as a freelance illustrator, Newman lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.

Space Kids: An Introduction for Young Explorers

Written by: Steve Parker

Illustrated by: Andrea De Santis

For ages: 4 and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Space, The Universe. 

Summary: This book is really cool!  It’s difficult to find books about space for children this young that actually teach them something.  In the Junior Kindergarten classroom Corrie taught in, there was a Space Unit that we struggled to find appropriate literature for.  Everything was either a board book or for reading-aged children.  This book, along with the Professor Astro Cat series solved our problems!  Topics covered include: space, stars, constellations, solar system, astronauts, the international space station, and much more!  This book gives a well-rounded and comprehensive look at all things space, without too many words on the page.  Illustrations by Andrea De Santis are bright, cheerful, and diverse.  If you have a space-lover, this is the book for them!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

5239344Steve Parker’s writing career began with 10 early titles in Dorling Kindersley’s multi-award-winning Eyewitness series, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s. He has since worked for more than a dozen children’s book publishers and been shortlisted for, among others, the Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Prize, Times Educational Information Book of the Year, and Blue Peter Book Award.[3]

In 2009 he co-wrote The Complete Guide to Minerals, Rocks and Fossils of the World, with John Farndon, (Lorenz Educational Press)

In 2013 Parker’s title Science Crazy (QED) won the UK School Library Association’s Information Book Award,[4] and Fizzing Physics (QED) won the Hampshire Information Book Award.[5]

Parker also writes adult books, recently including Extinction: Not the End of the World? (Natural History Museum, 2013),[6] the million-selling The Human Body Book (Second Edition, Dorling Kindersley, 2013) and Kill or Cure, an Illustrated History of Medicine (Dorling Kindersley, 2013.) [7]

In 2014 Kill or Cure entered the New York Times Science Bestsellers [8] and also won the 2014 British Medical Association Book Award for Public Understanding of Science.[9]

In 2015 Parker was general editor of Evolution: The Whole Story (Thames and Hudson), heading a team of 12 expert authors in paleontology, paleobiology and paleoecology. Popular weekly New Scientist described the work as ‘highly accessible … such an attractive and friendly book … the approach breathes life into everything, including “boring” stuff (that is, non-dinosaur stuff) … bright, breezy and modern’. [10]

In 2016 Parker produced two of the largest and most complex titles of his career, Medicine: The Definitive Visual History (Dorling Kindersley),[11] and BODY: The infographic book of us (Aurum Press) with graphic designer, illustrator and academic Andrew Baker.[12] He also continued his collaboration with London’s Natural History Museum with publication of Colour and Vision: Through the Eyes of Nature. 2017 saw further titles including A Brief Illustrated History of Life on Earth (Raintree) [13] with specialist illustrator David West, and books on dinosaurs, oceans and seas, and robots and gadgets. In 2018 Parker received the School Library Information Book award for the second time, for In Focus: Seas and Oceans (Kingfisher).

AndreaDeSantisCroppedAndrea De Santis was born in Brescia, Italy, in 1978, but now lives in the center of Italy.

He started drawing when he was a child, continually looking for ideas that would increase his imagination. After graduation at the Art School, De Santis started working as Graphic Designer in several fields, such as Toys, Apparel, and Communication.

Nevertheless the illustration has always been his dream in a drawer, that’s why one day he decided to apply completely himself to this art as a freelance artist.

Andrea creates covers for Italian and foreign publishers, e.g. Pan Mcmillan, Suhrkamp, Gestalten, Einaudi, Feltrinelli, Mondadori. He also works for important communication agencies and Science, Psychology, Wellness magazines, such as WWD, Oprah magazine, New Scientist, The Observer/The Guardian, John Hopkins e Variety.

His illustrations belong to conceptual or surrealist art and his style is mainly minimal and narrative. De Santis uses chromatic contrasts and rarefied atmospheres to compose oneiric scenes. He always tries to give a positive, playful vision.

In De Santis’ spare time he loves reading books, traveling, riding his old motorcycle and go swimming – themes that often inspire illustrations.

Astro Kittens: Into the Unknown

Written by: Dr. Dominic Walliman

Illustrated by: Ben Newman

For ages: Infants & Toddlers (Board Book)

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Space. 

Summary: This board book is an edited version of the Professor Astro Cat series, developed for infants and toddlers!  We were sent this book from the publisher, Flying Eye Books, Nobrow in the UK, but all opinions are our own.

Professor Astro Cat is joined in these books by 2 kittens, the Astro Kittens!  These books break down incredibly difficult topics into easily understood bits of information.  Wormholes, suspended animation, and life on other planets.  If you’ve been following us for any length of time, you probably know what big fans we are of the entire Professor Astro Cat series!  This latest installation makes these scientific concepts even easier to teach to young children, and in our case teach them to ourselves 🙂  We are so excited to see more board books in this series come out!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

DominicWallimanDominic Walliman is a physicist, and award-winning science writer. He is co-creator of the Professor Astro Cat science books with illustrator Ben Newman.

Dominic received his PhD in quantum device physics from the University of Birmingham, and currently works at the quantum computing company D-Wave Systems Inc. As well as writing, he enjoys making films and animations to explain science and has produced a series of online videos communicating D-Wave’s groundbreaking quantum technology and his own videos about general science.

He has been writing science books since 2011, and he aims to give children super fun and clear explanations of science through the adventures of Professor Astro Cat. He grew up reading science books and remembers vividly the excitement of discovering the mind boggling explanations that science gives us about the Universe. If he can pass on this wonder and enjoyment to the next generation, he will consider it a job well done.

Desk-shotBen Newman has developed a distinct aesthetic over the years; a contemporary fusion of bold shapes, bright colours and playful characters which has been described as ‘bauhaus fuzzy felt.’ He has produced work for a large range of clients, including the Tate Modern, New York Times, BBC Radio 4, Google and The New Yorker. His practice extends outside of commercial work into worldwide exhibitions, paintings and three dimensional collaborations. Nowadays, he spends the majority of his time collaborating on the Professor Astro Cat children’s books with his longtime friend and scientist, Dr Dominic Walliman, which are published by Flying Eye Books and have been translated into 18 other languages.

Concurrent to working as a freelance illustrator, Newman lectures on illustration at various universities and conferences in the UK and Europe.

Dictionary of Dinosaurs

Edited by: Dr. Matthew G Baron

Illustrated by: Dieter Braun

For ages: Any age!

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Natural World, Paleontology, Dinosaurs.

Summary: From an Aardonyx to a Zuniceratops, read about when dinosaurs lived, where they lived, what they ate and so much more!  This book is incredibly comprehensive, and includes such incredible illustrations by Dieter Braun.  His artistic style is similar to Owen Davies, and we can’t get enough of either!  This book includes every dinosaur that’s ever been discovered.  The hardcover edition is hefty, but not too big.  It has a lovely color scheme and makes learning about these prehistoric friends easy and engaging.  Almost every kid has a dinosaur phase, and some (us, for instance) carry that interest and hobby into adulthood.  Corrie bought this for herself as a treat one day, after finishing exams.  This dictionary has duration and appeals to a huge audience and wide variety of ages.  It will be sticking around on our shelves for years to come!

About the Editor & the Illustrator:

s200_matthew.baronDr Matthew Grant Baron is a Cambridge and London based early career researcher in Palaeontology, specialising in dinosaur evolution, anatomy, taxonomy and systematics. His current focus is the origin and early radiation of the Ornithischia.

Dr Matthew G. Baron works alongside Dr David B. Norman (Cambridge) and Prof. Paul M. Barrett (London).

31088Dieter Braun is the illustrator of this awesome book! Dieter Braun regularly travels to Africa and Australia to observe the local wildlife in its natural habitat. His digitally rendered animal illustrations are also influenced by the children’s books, and vintage and Japanese design books he collects. The Hamburg-based artist has been commissioned by Time, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan and The Wall Street Journal, and has written his own children book entitled The World of Wild Animals.