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Books that celebrate Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths. This collection of fiction and non-fiction books encourage an exploration of STEM topics in an accessible way. There are books to suit reception to KS3.
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May 2022 Book of the Month | This attractively illustrated and cleverly designed book is targeted at children from ages 4-8 and successfully employs key strategies to absolutely ensure their engagement. A pleasingly diverse and relatable cast of characters, Lilli, Bea and Leo, are inquisitive friends who love adventure and solving problems. They discover that when they need help with a difficult problem, if they just hold hands and think hard, they are transported to the magical kingdom of Questland where they are transformed into, ever popular, Superheroes. There it is up to them to complete a series of challenges using key STEM skills, cooperation, and teamwork. I am sure parents will find the explanatory glossary outlining the STEM skills involved in each book very useful! For the reader these books develop key essential learning skills such as critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. One can easily imagine a group of children, or a child and parent or carer, talking together to solve the entertaining puzzles. The very sturdily produced book comes complete with reusable stickers and rewards to collect and the questfriendz.com website provides free activity sheets and supporting classroom materials, lesson plan guides and extra downloadable stickers. By ensuring that children are attracted by the imaginative story and characters, engaged in fun activities and rewarded for their success, this will be a sure fire hit at home or at school and a brilliant example of learning through play!
I can’t imagine why such an informative book hasn’t been written before! Looking at how the animal kingdom builds its homes and the ways this has influenced people to look at new construction methods and ways of living. A simple but fascinating story plays out here arranged into five different areas – looking at construction methods, the materials used, the shapes that nature produces, energy use and water use – all vitally important topics in modern construction. Animals and insects covered include the well-studied bee, termites, and coral as well as the wonderfully named Diabolical Ironclad beetle. Light is explored through the peacock and energy through the prairie dog and the tree. Who knew that the camel was fast becoming more famous for the way it’s nose works - by condensing the vapour it breathes out back into water and keeping it within its body? Or that this technology could now be used to help deserts bloom? This is a fascinating look at all sorts of animal builders and their legacies to us – arranged in such a way that it can be dipped into or read cover to cover. The bright illustrations and text blocks provide lots of information in a very accessible format. As is always vital in a book like this a detailed contents page and index help students find what they are looking for and a fun quiz finishes off the read. A book that will be used again and again.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month March 2022 | Science fiction has long delighted readers with its inventive ideas and incredible technology. Ideas such as time travel, teleporting and the creation of artificial life have always seemed destined to remain a fiction: just something to dream about. Beyond Belief takes a look at how scientists and inventors have been inspired to turn some of these fantasies into reality. They are hard enough to imagine and it is even more remarkable to think that they might one day become part of everyday life.
February 2022 Debut of the Month | Inventors don’t come much more inventive than young Leonora Bolt. In her home on remote Crabby Island, shared with her otter Twitchy, eccentric housekeeper Mildred and (occasionally) with her nasty Uncle Lester, Leonora comes up with all sorts of amazing gadgets and most astonishing of all is the Switcheroo, which can make objects swap places, via a nifty bit of quantum computing. Despite her brilliance, Leonora has never yet left the island and Uncle Luther seems determined to keep it that way. When a boy called Jack is washed up though, Leonora has to help and in the process she discovers secrets her uncle was keeping (we knew he was a bad un!). The story is full of fun and surprises, plus a fair bit of tension: will Leonora escape the island and Uncle Luther? Were her parents really lost at sea? Favourite scenes include a ride in a hot air balloon, suspended from a wonderful variety of inflatables, and another in the stinkiest cave in fiction. Lots of fun, this is one to recommend to readers who like their adventures wild, wacky and full of invention(s).
From its attention-grabbing title to its lively, inclusive illustrations, this is a book which will instantly attract young readers to pick it up and, once opened, they will be completely engaged by this first-rate explanation of genetics. The concept of every individual thing having its own recipe is one that is firmly anchored in what young children can understand from their own lived experience and the facts are quite literally mind-boggling and certainly added to my own knowledge. It had (foolishly) never really occurred to me that we would have genetic links to plants or that a grain of rice could have more genes than a human being. Explaining about “bossy” dominant genes, and what genetic characteristics we share with other creatures and then what percentage we share (99 % with chimps of course) leads to an understanding of how alike we all are- we are 99.9% identical to every other human on earth and yet we are all uniquely ourselves. This is not just an important scientific concept beautifully explained, but, through words and images, it carries the message of understanding, empathy and tolerance for others. An essential addition to school and home libraries.
Winner of the Blue Peter Awards 2022 Best Books with Facts | An international best-seller, translated into 25 languages Often human scientists try and solve a problem or invent a new tool and they realise that animals have already invented it for them. In this book you will meet the animal inventors who have shared their super inventing powers to make amazing things for humans.
Young chefs get an excellent introduction to culinary skills with Annabel Karmel's Fun, Fast & Easy Cookbook. The recipes have been designed for children and grown-ups to cook together and are divided into Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks & Treats, with easy-to-follow steps, tempting photos and cooking tips. The recipes are a lovely mix of both healthy dishes, with fresh fruit and vegetables added in creative and appealing ways, and twists on old favourites such as sunshine paella, vroom vroom bolognese and pesto pizzas. Amongst the recipes there are informative double-spreads on essential food groups and nutrition plus useful rules to keep kids safe in the kitchen. There are also ideas for cooking for those with food allergies and dietary requirements, with suggestions of simple ingredient-swaps to turn the recipe into a vegetarian or vegan meal. This sturdy, colourful hardback makes a great gift, giving hours of entertainment and teaching an essential skill in a fun way.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2021 | Scientifically detailed and packed full of information, this is a high-level introduction to the exceptionally complex demands of the building of bridges, tunnels and high rise city sky scrapers and how they have been solved. Structural engineer Roma Agrawal has chosen some iconic structures as case studies ranging historically from the Pantheon in Rome and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Mexico which was built on a sucken Aztec pyramid to the great engineering feats of the nineteenth century including the Brooklyn Bridge and the London sewers. Bringing the story of development up to date she has a detailed account of the building of the Shard in London which she worked on! In addition the case studies, there is a mass of technical detail about how to make buildings watertight, stable and strong. From the humble brick to the latest methods of computer modelling everything that has helped man make buildings is included. A book to explore again and again this is also a celebration of great engineers and especially great women engineers!
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month July 2021 | A welcome addition to the stories about Hope Jones, a feisty 10 year old campaigner who has a mission to save the world! Written as a blog, in previous titles Hope has campaigned against the use of plastics and eating meat. This time, especially after her friend Selma collapses with an asthma attack, she is determined to get everyone to cut the use of their cars. Hope’s campaign doesn’t always go smoothy, even her parents are not completely supportive. But Hope is a great fighter and she finds friends, like Harry, who help her in all kinds of ways. Following Hope’s activism through her blog and the excellent illustrations that accompany it, is an inspiring journey for all. Fun to read this is also a book that can change minds and attitudes.
Bouncing with energy and full of fascinating facts, Meet Matilda Rocket Builder is an ingenious blend of comic character-driven story and in-depth exposition of big scientific subjects. Brilliantly brought to life through Heidi Cannon’s doodle-style illustrations - the perfect partner to Dom Conlon’s smart stream-of-consciousness text - ten-year-old Matilda’s enthusiasm and ambition knows no bounds - she has “BRAINS! And I’m determined to use them.” Sagely, Matilda has observed that “we don’t encourage each other often enough...We’re just not used to saying ‘you can do this’ anymore.” With that at the forefront of her busy mind, Matilda is determined to build a spaceship and make it to the moon. The humour (or should that be poo-mour..?) is spot-on, and always totally relevant. For example, Matilda’s detailed explanation of gravity is reached via a lengthy discussion of the weight of her poo. Other topics covered include air pressure, escape velocities and coding. Though perfect for confirmed science and space buffs, this also comes (especially) recommended for young readers who haven’t yet found that all-important spark to ignite their interest in science - Matilda’s passion is infectious and her way of looking at the likes of physics and astronomy will surely kindle that spark. One thing’s for sure, the world could do with a few more Matildas in it.
Will Jakeman is extraordinary! As a tiny baby, he was sent across galaxies in his little i-cot, invented by his mother, to escape interplanetary space pirates attacking his home. Landing on planet Urf he was adopted by a kindly old couple, also coincidentally inventors. With such an amazing background, how could Will be anything else other than an inventor, and as for his inventions – wow! There’s the self-making bed, suction shoes so that you can walk up walls, but most amazing his mechanimals, fabulous mechanical creatures just the thing to take if you’re going on an adventure, or to have at your back if you’re being terrorised by a rampaging raptor. The story is interspersed with wonderful diagrams of these amazing creations, the chemical powered Crustacean Hover-sub for example or, best of all, Steel-Skull, a robotic hydrogen-powered metal gorilla. They all have special parts to play in Will’s adventures and the book is perfect for those who want their reading imagination-packed and out of this world! As an added bonus there’s lots to encourage you to sketch your own wonderful creations too.
With this book, you’ll have everything you need to explore the universe, and from the comfort of your own home. It’s full of information on the planets, stars and constellations, together with practical learning activities that can be done in the back garden or your bedroom, from how to make an astronomical torch, to how to take a star trail photo, to how to explore gravity with the help of marbles. You can use the book as a journal, recording your findings as you go, while regular ‘did you know?’ boxes add to the sense of excitement and discover. The design is bright and appealing, with colour photos scattered throughout too, and this is accessible, stimulating and lots of fun.
As we know, Marie Curie was a trail blazer in so many ways – a woman in science, the first woman to win Nobel Prizes, a major protagonist in the discovery of radiation and x-rays. We may know much less about her background and her family history. This graphic novel shows us just some of the many problems Marie Curie had to rise above in her native Poland - where women were not allowed at the Universities. Told through a series of panels this biography includes all the scientific discoveries in a simple, easily accessible format that exposes the dangers, as well as the advantages of radiation. The illustrations are clear with plenty of room given to the text so that is easy to read and follow. A good addition to classroom collections – and will have special appeal for those pupils who may prefer a graphic approach or be less enthusiastic readers.
What do you see when you look up at the sky? It may seem like a big, empty space, but it's busier than you think. From clouds and stars, to birds, planes and everything in between - there's a whole sky to explore. Skygazing is a double-sided book full of incredible cross-curricular information, fun activities, and beautiful illustrated scenes to enjoy. Discover why the sky is blue, early experiments in flight, and how helicopters stay aloft, before flipping the book to read all about the night sky. Find out how to read the stars, spot the night's flying creatures and see the colours of the aurora borealis.
A man with an obsession for straight lines and sharp angles is converted by a sudden encounter with nature and learns to live a happier, more relaxed life as a result in Thibaut Rassat’s quirky, thought-provoking book. Architect Eugene likes order and tries his hardest to impose it in his own home and on the buildings he designs where everything has to be straight, square and in line. The builders have fun teasing him by leaving bathtubs on the balconies, but they’re caught out themselves when Eugene suddenly changes his view of the world. What provokes it? When a tree falls into his latest building, Eugene is struck by its beauty and the beauty of its curves and proportions. From then on, straight lines are out and nature and making things nicer for wildlife well and truly in. It’s a book to give children real insight into what an architect does, and how, but it will also open their eyes to the beauty and unexpected order of the natural world.
Who knew you could do so much with – and learn so much from – an ordinary glass jar? Created by scientist and educator Dr Sai Pathmanathan, this book contains 50 accessible, low-cost, hands-on science activities that will educate and inspire young minds about everything from magnets to matter, and light to evolution. And the most amazing thing is, pretty much all you need to set them up, is a jar. Dr Pathmanathan believes that science can be most awe-inspiring when we work things out for ourselves, and that’s definitely borne out here, where children are inspired to think about science, and use what they observe themselves to come to conclusions. The instructions for each experiment are easy to follow and accompanied by clear explanations of the science behind it, as well as suggestions for additional activities. Designed for use at home or at school, this will definitely appeal to enquiring minds and open up a world of wonder. One word of warning though – there are some groan-inducing puns as chapter titles!
First published over 150 years ago, Darwin’s On the Origin of Species still shapes how we see the world, and his words and theories are fascinating for young people. This handsomely illustrated book clearly explains Darwin’s discoveries and what they revealed in a way that even young children will follow and understand. It’s divided into short, manageable sections, each examining and elucidating Darwin’s ideas on selection and evolution, the final pages bringing us right up to date and outlining what we can do now thanks to modern discoveries and technology. Beautiful to look at, it’s genuinely inspiring, a way to tune young readers into Darwin’s thought process and spark their imagination and interest in science as a result.
Written and illustrated with infectious verve, Kate Pankhurst’s Fantastically Great Women Scientists and Their Stories puts paid to any notion that women’s role in science has been peripheral. In fact, despite huge impediments, and thanks to their intellect and tenacity, this inspiring book shows how women have been at the heart of many major discoveries - from finding the cure for malaria, to spearheading revolutionary DNA research, to making monumental advances in the fields of volcanology, astronomy, botany and chemistry (and more). Through an engaging blend of text, comic strips, fact boxes and diagrams, the book explores eight life-changing scientific innovators in detail. The fact that most of the scientists aren’t household names tells you everything you need to know about the importance of this book - these are innovators whose names should be known. Take Tu Youyou, for example, the Chinese chemist who spent months on a remote island researching traditional medicines in order to discover a cure for malaria, testing potentially dangerous preparations on herself - and all this against the precarious backdrop of the Cultural Revolution that saw her separated from her family and sworn to secrecy. Then there’s out-of-this-world Mae Jemison, an astoundingly multi-talented woman who grew up watching the first space missions during the Civil Rights Movement and went on to become the first African-American woman astronaut in 1992. Informative, inspiring and presented with passion and clarity, this is children’s non-fiction at its finest.
January 2021 Debut of the Month | Some readers will already be familiar with robot Freddy, who stars in Neill Cameron’s Mega Robo Bros cartoon strip, but everyone will find masses to enjoy in this new series. Freddy’s robot superpowers include the ability to fly, use lasers and super-strength but none of these talents are appreciated by the teachers at the primary school he attends and indeed, after he accidentally flies through the staffroom window, the head introduces a robotic code of conduct which forbids all of the above, with a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ penalty clause too. Freddy tries, he really does, but it’s not easy being the only robot in his class. Plus, his friend Fernando has lots of ideas for games that lead to trouble, and then when the two fall out, Freddy finds himself partnered with someone who instigates even more bad behaviour. The inevitable third strike comes at the school’s Project Outcome Evening but Freddy gets one amazing last chance to put his Awesome Robotic Abilities to the use for which they were intended. This action-packed story is wildly funny and school life brilliantly well observed (I love Freddy’s long-suffering human parents too). Through it all, Freddy is learning about himself and his friends, and readers will be too. With cartoon illustrations by Cameron on every page even the most reluctant reader will race through this. Superb! David Almond’s latest book Brand New Boy also uses a robot story to explore ideas of understanding, acceptance and human nature.
Take one box – a cereal box for example – and this craft ideas book, and get creating! Thanks to a set of recycled plastic corners just right for joining up card (and neatly contained in a storage compartment) with clear, easy to follow instructions, kids will be able to transform the box into any one of 20 different toys. Once they have got to grips with the easier creations including a dinosaur, a rocket and a fabulous looking car they can challenge themselves with the trickier space helmet or unicorn mask. Like all the best ideas it’s really simple, really effective and likely to be just the start of more creative activity. The JUNKO ethos is all about reuse and being eco-friendly. The Epic Cereal Box Creations is a brilliantly clever concept, turning household waste and packaging into toys: even those plastic corners are made from recycled plastic! Not only is it fun, it’s a great way to build those all-important STEAM skills too. Who needs plastic toys when you can have fun and make your own out of cardboard? Purchase Epic Cereal Box Creations directly from the Junko website here!
November 2020 Non-Fiction Book of the Month | Congratulations to Carl Wilkinson and James Weston Lewis who achieve something remarkable in this huge, beautiful information book: they explain Einstein’s theory of relativity to general readers, specifically young readers. They do it carefully, step by step, in bite-sized chunks and with lots of illustrations and diagrams to keep things accessible, starting by introducing Einstein himself and his early influences, before explaining the scientific theories and discoveries, from gravity to light waves and his understanding of space and time, that eventually provided the building blocks for the famous E =MC² equation. The text is always clear and concise, while the images do much of the hard work of explaining complex ideas and laws of physics. Einstein’s work deserves to be represented in illustrations that are full of movement, drama and wonder, and Weston Lewis gets that exactly right. Every reader will close the book fully aware of the enormity of Einstein’s achievement and his brilliance, and understanding his ideas and the process that led to them too. And find out a bit about the author's fascination with science and space in our Q&A with Carl Wilkinson.
Ada Lovelace: Rebel. Genius. Visionary | At once a passionate portrait of a scientifically seminal young woman, and a fascinating account of the lives of well-to-women in the early 19th-century, I Ada lays bare the many faces of Ada Lovelace. Ada the inquisitive. Ada the adventuress. Ada the visionary genius who defied convention to become the world’s first computer programmer, the seeds of which are sown in this portrayal of her early life. Driven by drama and a spirit of affection, this is as lively as it is informative. Fathered by flamboyant, notorious Lord Byron, it’s perhaps no wonder how easily Ada slips “into the unbordered realms of the imagination” as a child living on her grandparents’ country estate. Ada thinks of him often, and wonders why her mother speaks little of him. But then, Ada’s relationship with her strict, distant mother is often strained. Ada’s flighty tendencies jar with Lady Byron’s more rigid intellectual outlook. But they’re both inspired by their Grand Tour of Europe - Lady Byron seizes an opportunity to research ideas for her progressive school, while Ada’s mind is opened to a world of possibilities. Back in England, Ada’s desires are constrained by societal conventions, though female thinkers and mathematicians are among her circle, and then she meets a revolutionary inventor whose work chimes with her own innovative scientific ideas…
A World of Houses and Habitats | Learn how humans have built dwellings to suit all kinds of habitats. Adapting themselves to all kinds of landscapes and climates, over the centuries humans have used their architectural ingeniousness to build amazing dwellings: find them here, from houses on stilts and igloos to tree houses and skyscrapers. Fully illustrated with clear, engaging artwork and intelligent, simple and original text presented in a clean, appealing design.
Cookie is one of those characters who have the best intentions, but just can’t help getting into scrapes and mix ups, and readers will love her all the more for it. In this new adventure, her plans for a plastic-free birthday party are overtaken by circumstances and before we know it, she’s accidentally become best friends with Suzie Ashby, got a detention, upset her friend Jake, and handed over £25 to take part in Woodburn Primary’s very own F Factor, which turns out to be not what she expected at all. Cookie being Cookie, it all works out in the end and everyone, the reader included, has lots of fun along the way. Konnie Huq clearly remembers what it is to be a ten year old very well indeed and Cookie’s fast flowing, tangent-embracing, stream of consciousness narrative is a delight. Huq’s own black and white illustrations are the perfect complement to the text, giving us even clearer insight into what’s going on in Cookie’s head. A fast, fresh and very funny read. The LoveReading LitFest invited Konnie Huq to the festival to talk about Cookie, and green reads for kids with fellow author Gill Lewis. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.
The Periodic Table Personified | Colin Stuart is a renowned astronomy speaker, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a well-regarded writer across a wide variety of media, hence this book comes with an impeccable pedigree. The delight of it is that it has taken a rather solemn and serious subject and – by presenting all the information in infographics – created a bright, very informative introduction to the periodic table! Each element in the Periodic table has a whole page devoted to the information about it – which includes a delightful host of weird and wonderful characters playing the elements! Each element is presented as a figure (host) with symbols showing its state at room temperature i.e. solid, liquid or gas, then where on earth it can be found. There are symbols for whether it is harmful to humans or not and any special use it is put to. A picture of the electron shell formation is included, its atomic mass and also the elements’ rankings i.e. its density, melting point and boiling point. This plus the date of discovery, and a short paragraph on typical usage of the element make this a valuable and informative look at the Periodic table. I feel sure the interesting approach and the fun illustrations will help some young chemists find a way into the topic perhaps earlier than usual. It will also have real benefit in aiding those of us who may otherwise struggle with Chemistry – me included!
Two little friends take a tour of the city in this bright and engaging book. What amazing things will they see – and what can we spot too as we follow them on their way? Each colourful double page spread is full of life and movement with lots for children to find in the pictures. Some things – train driver, camera, ice-cream van – are neatly labelled, and on each page readers are posed a little challenge testing counting skills, memory or comprehension. The illustrations are very appealing indeed, and with its combination of fun story and find, name and count element, this is a great book to share with young children.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | This is a superb example of an information text, ostensibly for younger children, but with multi-age and multi-curriculum uses. It is also a thing of beauty, printed on high quality paper doing full justice to the stunning illustrations, with the author’s expressive brush work, clever layout and a palette filled with watery blues and greens and the white and grey of rain, fog and snow. A little girl notices the role of water all around her—a sprinkler, a tap, a stream, a lake. She also notices that water sometimes tries to hide, or change state, and that water is part of every living thing including her. The book concludes with four pages of beautifully clear explanations of water forms (liquid, solid and gas), the water cycle and the all-important conservation of water. There are some excellent suggestions of how to play and learn about water and true or false questions to check understanding. These are very well suited to older children too, as indeed the book is, as a model of writing and the effective use of figurative language. Poetic descriptions make this an enjoyable read-aloud and the larger font labels that identify the source of the water on each page (including Zoe the narrator) are perfect for vocabulary building for the youngest child. A really well thought out and brilliantly executed early science picture book that deserves a place in every school.
Shortlisted for the Books for Younger Readers category, Children's Book Awards 2022 | Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Awards 2021, Best Story | “Numbers are great, they make sense - unlike people. You’d think this if you lived with my family.” So Anisha sets the scene for the madcap mystery that unfolds in the chaotic run-up to her Aunty Bindi’s epic wedding. Anisha loves her “sparkly” Aunty Bindi, but it’s not easy being bridesmaid to such a flamboyant figure, especially when she’s on the verge of having a “mega meltdown”! Matters take a scarier turn when Anisha finds a ransom note announcing that Tony, Bindi’s fiancé, has been kidnapped and the wedding must be called off if they want to see him again. “Why did I have to be the one who found the note?” she laments. “I DON’T LIKE DRAMA!” But, in order to prevent her already frazzled family from spiraling into further chaos, Anisha decides to find Tony herself, with the help of her best friend Milo. A hilarious race against time ensues, with clues to pursue, undercover surveillance to be done and the involvement of some decidedly curious characters (among them a weeing lobster), and the menace of Anisha’s “evil” cousins-to-be. The story shimmers with the vibrant exuberance of an Indian wedding, the special warmth of family and friends, and action-packed amusement. Special mention must go to the informative (and funny) footnotes that explain Indian food, customs and language referred to in the story, and to Emma McCann’s energetic illustrations. April 2020 Debut of the Month Books in the Anisha, Accidental Detective Series: 1. Anisha, Accidental Detective 2. School's Cancelled 3. Granny Trouble
Blast off into space like | Part of the inspiring Work It, Girl series, this eye-catching book tells the life story of Mae Jemison, who in 1992 became the first African American woman to go into space. It’s more than just a biography however, because it picks out ten lessons we can all learn from Mae’s life and apply in our own. These include the importance of dreaming big, of asking questions, and of never letting others’ opinions of you determine your future. It’s inspiring stuff, and cleverly laid out to be accessible and properly thought-provoking to all. A final page poses questions so that readers can think about what they’ve learned and how to use the information.
If you like Star Wars, you’ll love Alastair Chisholm’s space adventure. The action takes place on board the transport ship Orion as it heads out from Earth to a new colony far away. Reaching their destination requires ship and passengers making a series of Jumps through space and time, and surviving a Jump means entering a state of deep suspended animation. Emerging from one of these, Beth discovers that none of the adults can be woken, and that she is now acting captain with a ‘crew’ of fellow youngsters. There are tensions between the children, some alarming encounters with aliens and – much more terrifying – space pirates, all made worse when Beth begins to suspect that the ship itself may not have their best interests at heart. It all makes for a terrifically taut and entertaining page-turner, with twists and surprises galore. Don’t miss!
An inspiring introduction to the life of one of the UKs greatest scientist, Stephen Hawking. When he was still a young man, Hawking was diagnosed with a form of motor neurone disease which he knew would disable him and shorten his life. He was determined to achieve all he could despite this and he did. His research into black holes and the theory of the Big Bang was ground breaking and of the greatest importance to all subsequent scientific study.
Well-known children’s TV presenter Konnie Huq has created this delightful novel, illustrated throughout with small sketches and some very humourous footnotes! Cookie is a bright, bold character, who doesn’t understand the word no, who leaps in with both feet – and so gets herself into trouble just a little too often. When her best friend announces her family plan to move away Cookie is bereft – not helped by the arrival of a very annoying boy – who moves in next door to Cookie. Cookie wants to represent her school on the Brainbusters TV quiz programme, but to do so she must win the Y5 science project – will she do it? The storytelling is funny and energetic – just like Cookie. There are some real laugh out loud moments, paired with explanations and methods on the science experiments described in the book – and hints on how to do them safely at home. A real pleasure to have a book encouraging scientific exploration in such a fun way – and such a strong young female character. The LoveReading LitFest invited Konnie Huq to the festival to talk about Cookie, and green reads for kids with fellow author Gill Lewis. The digitally native, all year round, online literature and books festival, with new content released every week is a free-for-all-users festival. What are you waiting for? Check out a preview of the event and sign up to become a member.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | This year sees the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, so interest in space exploration will be particularly high. Handsomely illustrated with Chris Nielsen’s bold retro images, and packed with information, Balloon to the Moon will answer all the questions any potential astronauts might pose. It covers the entire spectrum, from mankind’s first attempts to get off the ground via balloons in the 1700s to the space race as it developed in the 50s, 60s and 70s, with revealing descriptions of the personalities involved as well as the technology. It all makes for a fascinating story, and one that will appeal to readers of all kinds. Concluding with a page on space careers and the future of humankind’s exploration of our universe this is a book to inform and inspire.
‘In her thirty-three years at NASA Katherine was a pioneer who broke the barriers of race and gender, showing generations of young people that everyone can excel in math and science, and reach for the stars’. That’s President Barack Obama on Katherine Johnson, his quote one of many contemporary sources that bring her extraordinary achievements to life in this concise but information-packed biography. The book covers Johnson’s life from childhood and early signs of her fierce intelligence through to the years at NASA where her calculations helped put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. It’s inspiring stuff, and the book is designed to appeal to a wide readership, with frequent illustrations, diagrams and information boxes. This is one of a number of titles in a well-thought-out new series. For further reading on this theme visit our special feature - 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.
This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini- series is written by Lisa Rajan. Emerald/Band 15 books provide a widening range of genres including science fiction and biography, prompting more ways to respond to texts. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
This exciting title in the Tara Binns mini-series is written by Lisa Rajan. Diamond/Band 17 books offer more complex, underlying themes to give opportunities for children to understand causes and points of view. Ideas for reading in the back of the book provide practical support and stimulating activities.
April 2019 Book of the Month | A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month April 2019 | The inspiring story of Mary Anning who, born at the end of the eighteenth century, fought against all the odds to become a pioneering scientist and fossil hunter. Inspired by her father who took her out on fossil hunting expeditions on the cliffs and beaches around Lyme Regis, Mary was fascinated by the beauty of the finds and by what they said about the past. Her exceptional curiosity was matched by incredible courage which led her to take dare-devil risks as she searched for rare examples. She also knew their worth and was never shy in selling them well to the many visitors to the area who came to wonder. Anthea Simmons tells Mary’s story as an exciting adventure and also as a rousing story of what an intelligent and brave woman can do.
Tara comes up with a big safety idea, but can it save her own skin and can she prevent a fatal crash? The old dressing up box in the attic propels Tara Binns into a new job each time she lifts the lid. She never knows what challenges she will face and we can all enjoy finding out with her. Luckily she is always accompanied on these pacy adventures by Ayesha and Ortez who work alongside her and encourage faith in her own abilities. Her powers of deduction are really tested here by problems on the factory floor and inspire her to think like an engineer. She comes up with a design solution for personal protection, but can she act in time to avert a terrible accident? Each title in this colourfully illustrated, inclusive series progresses to another levelled book band offering more depth and engaging detail to develop readers’ thinking, inference and reasoning skills alongside this inspiring, anti- stereotypical heroine. An excellent choice for the classroom or library. I can see that Tara Binns is all set to be the Mr Ben of this generation and this time we have a female role model! David McKee’s book and TV series no doubt inspired many boys in the 1980’s to reach for their dreams- whatever they may be. But as the WISE campaign for gender balance in STEM professions, which endorses this series from Collins Big Cat, tells us: only 8% of girls go on to study STEM subjects and only 22% of women are employed in STEM careers. Tara Binns could help to change that and inspire girls to open their eyes to their full potential! Each story in this book banded series has a reading guide at the back providing practical support and stimulating activity ideas. There is a full teaching guide and lesson plan available on the website https://collins.co.uk/pages/tara-binns and WISE are providing real life case studies for each of the careers featured. High-Flying Pilot and Double-Quick Doctor are available now and 3 more STEM career titles will follow later in the year.
This cleverly designed, attractive book will catch the imagination of all children, even those who wrongly believe that they don’t have what it takes to be a scientist. It explains that the key attribute for scientists is curiosity and then stimulates that in young readers by giving them a variety of fun, practical exercises and experiments to do. There are sticker rewards for each completed task and the experiments themselves will give children a real sense of satisfaction and achievement. A fun, inspiring way to get children thinking about how our world works and a great book to provoke understanding of the different types of scientific activity. ~ Andrea Reece Download a Scientist Academy Activity sheet here! One of a number of titles in the Academy series. To go to our special Academy series category click here.
A lively and dynamic introduction to the periodic table, an essential topic to grasp when studying chemistry. Learn what the periodic table is, how it is used, what each element is made of and more in this entertaining information book, with 125 flaps to lift. Lovereading Review will follow.
A spin-off from Andrea Beaty’s and David Roberts’s inspiring and ground-breaking Rosie Revere, Engineer this eye-catching activity book will get children themselves thinking and creating like real engineers. While it tells them exactly how to create contraptions such as a catapult and a solar oven, more importantly it explains how engineers think, and challenges readers to ask questions, test things and imagine how the world around them could be improved. Most crucial of all, it reveals that failure is nothing to be ashamed of but in fact – along with persistence – a crucial part of success. Creativity is essential to engineers, the book says, and there are lots of pages on which children can draw and note down ideas; fun and empowering. ~ Andrea Reece
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | Detailed, ingenious and graphically beautiful this information book opens, as the best do, with an invitation to young readers to stop and wonder as they’re asked to think about what is going on beneath their feet. No ordinary book but a fold-out poster in book form, opening out the pages reveals a huge vertical panorama that takes us down through the different layers and right into the very core of the Earth. Friendly but information-rich text explains the features of the different layers, from the pipes and wires that support our civilisation to old bones, underground rivers, coal mines. The reverse side of the poster takes up back up through the magma, then seams of minerals, limestone, fossils and finally back into the light, this time countryside rather than city street. This beautiful book will expand readers’ knowledge and understanding and inspire them to think more about our planet.
Made by Dad combines the rough-edged, handmade ethos of a Boy Scout manual or The Dangerous Book for Boys together with the sly sense of humour that children love. It's amazing what you can do with markers, cardboard, glue, a knife, and some imagination! From quick and simple, in fact easy enough to do in a coffee shop while waiting for the drinks to arrive, to the kind of afternoon project that kids will remember forever. Projects are shown in full-colour photos and step-by-step instructions are illustrated with detailed line drawings that have an energetic touch of genius and inspiration perfect for dads to share with their family, including a Remote Release Zip Line, a Bunk Bed Communicator and an I Love You This Much Pop-up Card. In fact, it is chock full of 67 extraordinary, custom-designed how-to projects for DIY parents everywhere.
Filled to the brim with fantastic science feats that are easy to learn and difficult to forget! It's a book for kids (and for those adults who have never grown up - yes dad that's you!). Hours of entertainment too for families to get together and explore the world of science. The tricks are amazing so learn the tricks of the trade and you will soon be able to amaze and astound friends and family with your talent for science. Just some of the tricks barely contained within the book are Smoking Fingers!, Cola can-can!, Visible Sound Waves!, Disappearing Coins and ...the trick where you achieve the impossible with just a piece of paper! And many, many more!