Tag Archives: Women in Science

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.

Celestina the Astronaut Ballerina

Written by: Donald Jacobson

Illustrated by: Graham Evans

For ages: 3 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Bullying, POC-Centric Narratives, Space, Growing Up, Independent Thought, Self-Esteem, Social-Emotional Learning. 

Summary: This rhyming story follows a young girl named Celestina, who dreams of being an astronaut despite everyone telling her to be a ballerina instead.  Celestina is teased by her classmates and told to focus on something more realistic than being an astronaut by adults and teachers.  Sadly, Celestina thinks that they may be right and begins to focus on dancing.  One day, she gets a new teacher who tells the class that they are the ones in charge of their dreams-no one else can tell them what they want to accomplish.  Her dream renewed, Celestina begins to focus on the hard work it will take to achieve her ultimate goal of going to space.

This book is super cute, and we really enjoyed it!  Having a character interested in science and space that isn’t a boy, but instead a young girl of color, is refreshing.  We really love that Celestina is a character that is developed enough to have multiple interests that she can embrace.  She does love dance, and is talented at it, but space is where her heart truly lies.  This book is also very believable in that when she is bullied, Celestina begins to doubt herself.  But she also never truly gives up on her dream, and with the encouragement of her teacher realizes that she can accomplish exactly what she wants to.

We were sent this book by the author for review, but all opinions are our own!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

author-central-image-2018Here is a bit more info about author Donald Jacobson from his “about me” section of his website:

“I’m a husband, a father, a registered nurse, and a sometimes-writer living and working in Memphis, Tennessee.  My main sources of inspiration when writing — especially when writing kid’s books — are my two amazing daughters (Hazel and Holly) and my beautiful, smart, supportive, and loving wife (Stephanie). Without them, I wouldn’t have had the courage to strike out and put my ideas on paper. I’d also like to give an honorary mention to our mopey rescue dog, Yoda, who stands beside me as the only other source of male DNA in our crazy, but wonderful, little family.

My secondary source of inspiration — er, maybe not “inspiration”, but information — is my clinical background in nursing. I’ve been a nurse for over 10 years, with experience in emergency nursing, EMS, case management, nursing informatics, and a variety of other settings. I also have two Master’s degrees, which definitely made me get over my fear of rejection when writing. If you’re a writer, and you have trouble just putting something out there for judgment, I highly recommend going through a Master’s program. You’ll eventually stop worrying about that rejection, get over your failure (after failure, after failure, after failure) and just learn to create content.”

 

We had some difficulty finding out information about illustrator Graham Evans, there are several artists with the same name and we don’t think he has a personal website featuring his illustrations.  If you know, let us know!

Rosie Revere, Engineer

Written by: Andrea Beaty 

Illustrated by: David Roberts

For ages: 4 years and up

Language: English

Topics Covered: STEM, Feminism, Family, Imagination, Creativity, Self-Esteem. 

Summary: Rosie is a shy child, but she loves to build things at night when she’s alone in her room.  She wasn’t so shy until she made her uncle a special hat to keep the pythons off his head (he’s a zookeeper) and he laughs at her.  Confused, she thinks she shouldn’t share her inventions with anyone which is why she only builds alone in her room.

Until her great-great-aunt Rose shows up.  Rose used to build airplanes, but has never flown.  Rosie decides to help her achieve her dream…but will she get laughed at?  It turns out yes, but Rose explains to her that it doesn’t mean she should quit or hide away.  Sometimes helicopters made out of cheese are just funny!  And just because something ultimately fails, it works for a minute.  And that is a stepping stone to success!

This book is super cute, and we love seeing young girls interested in STEM!  This book impresses upon readers the importance of sticking to a project even if it fails a few times.  This whole series is great, and we’re especially excited to read Sophia Valdez, Future Prez!

Reflection Questions:

  • Why do you think Rosie was embarrassed when her uncle laughed at her?
  • Have you ever invented anything?
  • What do you think is the most important thing that Rosie’s aunt Rose told her?

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Andrea Beaty photoAndrea Beaty was raised in southern Illinois in a town so small she knew everybody and their pets. And they all knew her. Andrea was one of six kids and we spent our summer days traipsing through the fields and forests hunting for adventure.  Always, it was fun and often, they laughed so hard they blew Orange Crush or Grape Nehi Soda out their noses. She still avoids Grape Nehi … just in case.

Andrea was a big reader as a kid and LOVED Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon Mysteries.  Then she moved on to Agatha Christie books and then the classics.  Don’t tell anyone, but her secret ambition is to star in a Broadway musical and Andrea is often tempted to break into song and dance at very odd moments. Mostly in the frozen food section of her grocery store!  They have very good lighting.

Andrea attended Southern Illinois University and studied Biology and Computer Science. After that, she worked for a computer software company. Andrea helped people with their computer problems (“Did you try turning it off and on again?”) and some technical writing. Andrea didn’t know at the time, but tech writing was great training for writing for kids because it taught her to be a fierce self-editor.

Now, she lives in Chicago with her family. Andrea visits lots of schools each year to share her love of reading and her writing journey with kids and educators.

davidroberts_websiteWhen David Roberts was at school, he claims he wasn’t very good at anything so the teacher would give me projects to produce big pictures for the school hall. He remembers doing one of Death rowing in a boat on the river Thames with a dead dog floating past!

David has always been drawing ever since he was a very small child and then when he left school at 16, he went to Art College. There, David did a foundation course trying out all different types of art practice. The thing David thought he wanted to do the most was costume and fashion design so he did a degree in fashion design.

David ended up being a children’s book illustrator and it was always his dream to do this! Although David tried to pursue a career as a fashion illustrator first. When he met Christine of Artist Partners she pointed out to him that he was drawing characters and perhaps he should focus more on publishing and in particular children’s books.

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.

The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories [released 10/15]

Written by: Professor Alice Gregory & Christy Kirkpatrick

Illustrated by: Eleanor Hardiman

For ages: any age

Language: English

Topics Covered: Sleep, Meditation, Mindfulness, Family, Bedtime Stories. 

Summary: This book was sent to us by the publisher, Flying Eye Books, Nobrow in the UK, but all opinions are our own.

This book is a collection of stories meant to help with a smooth bedtime routine by incorporating mindfulness practices when children are falling asleep.  The book was first developed by Professor Alice Gregory and then a scientific study was run with 100 families to see if it would indeed help with sleep.  It turns out that 77% of families had positive experiences with the first version of the book.  After feedback was given, Alice Gregory improved upon the book and this is the one we have available today!

There are several sections for adults at the beginning of the book, explaining how the book came to be and how to best use the book incorporated into bedtime.  In the back of the book is a list of tips to help with a bedtime routine, and a Q&A section.

The 5 bedtime stories themselves are accompanied by adorable illustrations!  The stories are fairly short, just a few pages.  Within each story comes several mindfulness practices and breathing exercises to incorporate when reading the tale.  Picturing different aspects of the story, Pebble the small stone for instance, in the listener’s hand and breathing deeply engages them into relaxing and becoming more engaged with the story.  This book is unlike any other, and was a treat to read.  We highly recommend these sweet tales to incorporate meditation into the bedtime routine!  This book was developed specifically for the purpose of improving children’s sleep, which is a really cool concept to us.  I’m sure we all know someone that would benefit from better sleep!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Alice-GregoryAlice Gregory is a Professor of Psychology at Goldsmiths. She has contributed to several diverse research areas, including the longitudinal associations between sleep and psychopathology, behavioural genetics, sleep paralysis and exploding head syndrome. In addition to her scientific contributions she also excels in the public engagement of science. She has published a popular science book (Nodding Off, Bloomsbury, 2018) and has another book in development (Sleepy Pebble, Nobrow). She regularly contributes articles to the media and has had her work published in outlets including the Guardian, BBC Focus, GQ UK, Sud Ouest, Slate Fr, Independent.

B13eRPXzl3S._US230_Christy Kirkpatrick is a children’s and educational writer specialising in pre-school and primary literacy, including phonics and early reading, and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). She has a PhD in English from the University of London and a background working as commissioning editor for major academic and educational publishers. Christy works primarily on children’s books and resources with an academic or educational focus, and is the co-author of ‘The Sleepy Pebble and Other Stories: Calming Tales to Read at Bedtime’ (Flying Eye Books, 2019).

 

DarcieJudson-EleanorHardiman-Illustrator-89Eleanor Hardiman is an illustrator and designer from Bristol, UK. With a distinct, modern and clean illustrative style Eleanor has worked on a vast variety of national and international projects including illustrated books, magazine covers, advertising, packaging and illustrated windows. First Class Graduate of Falmouth University.

Want to chat about a project, or have any questions? eleanor.hardiman@live.co.uk

Ada Twist, Scientist

Written by: Andrea Beaty

Illustrated by: David Roberts

For ages: 4-10 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, STEM, Women in STEM, Family, Love, Acceptance, Social-Emotional Development. 

Summary: In a flowing and lyrical story, we learn about Ada, who did not speak until she was 3 but left a path of destructive curiosity in her wake wherever she went.  When she did speak, she asked question and questions after question.  Ada’s parents just smiled, and said she would figure out all of the answers.  Supportive & kind, her parents know she has the trappings of a great scientist!  Ada begins to experiment and construct hypothesis after hypothesis, although does take a short stint in the Thinking Chair when she tries to put the cat in the washing machine (to make it smell better!).  In the Thinking Chair, she refines her scientific methods and makes a plan….scribbling all over the walls. Upon seeing this, her parents again decide they will figure out how to keep up with such an enchanting and intelligent child like Ada.

Character Ada is named after Ada Lovelace, we find this out in the short Author’s Note on the last page!  This book is so important, Ada is a little girl of color and an unstoppable scientific force.  So often books with POC characters are linked to oppression and slavery, and Ada’s story is just the opposite.  Ada is not expected to contain her enthusiasm for science and learning, in fact her family is the one that adapts to her.  One of the illustrations show her writing on a huge roll of paper after the wall incident.  Ada’s parents work with her, providing a fantastic role model for both Ada and her brother as well as readers!

Reflection Questions:

  • How do you think Ada got so curious?
  • Do you think Ada feels supported by her family?  Why or why not?
  • How would you feel in her situation, when in the Thinking Chair?
  • Would you like a scientist friend like Ada?

Continuing the Conversation:

  • Ada in the story is named after a famous scientist, Ada Lovelace.  Learn more about her, and how she became a scientist.  What is she known for? How did she develop her scientific methods at a time when not a lot of girls were allowed to pursue STEM?
  • Ada works on her hypotheses in the story.  Why is that an important step in the scientific process?  See if a real scientist can come visit the classroom, and discuss their methods!
  • Learn more about scientists of color, specifically women in STEM careers!  Are there a lot of them?  Find out what you can, and choose a single person to learn about and make a poster of their achievements.  Take a classroom tour and learn all about the amazing science that’s taking place all around us!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Andrea Beaty photoAndrea Beaty was raised in southern Illinois in a town so small she knew everybody and their pets. And they all knew her. Andrea was one of six kids and we spent our summer days traipsing through the fields and forests hunting for adventure.  Always, it was fun and often, they laughed so hard they blew Orange Crush or Grape Nehi Soda out their noses. She still avoids Grape Nehi … just in case.

Andrea was a big reader as a kid and LOVED Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon Mysteries.  Then she moved on to Agatha Christie books and then the classics.  Don’t tell anyone, but her secret ambition is to star in a Broadway musical and Andrea is often tempted to break into song and dance at very odd moments. Mostly in the frozen food section of her grocery store!  They have very good lighting.

Andrea attended Southern Illinois University and studied Biology and Computer Science. After that, she worked for a computer software company. Andrea helped people with their computer problems (“Did you try turning it off and on again?”) and some technical writing. Andrea didn’t know at the time, but tech writing was great training for writing for kids because it taught her to be a fierce self-editor.

Now, she lives in Chicago with her family. Andrea visits lots of schools each year to share her love of reading and her writing journey with kids and educators.

davidroberts_websiteWhen David Roberts was at school, he claims he wasn’t very good at anything so the teacher would give me projects to produce big pictures for the school hall. He remembers doing one of Death rowing in a boat on the river Thames with a dead dog floating past!

David has always been drawing ever since he was a very small child and then when he left school at 16, he went to Art College. There, David did a foundation course trying out all different types of art practice. The thing David thought he wanted to do the most was costume and fashion design so he did a degree in fashion design.

David ended up being a children’s book illustrator and it was always his dream to do this! Although David tried to pursue a career as a fashion illustrator first. When he met Christine of Artist Partners she pointed out to him that he was drawing characters and perhaps he should focus more on publishing and in particular children’s books.