Readers with younger kids may be interested in today's post by Michelle Nijhuis in the blog The Last Word on Nothing. Nijhuis, a former-biologist-turned-science-writer, has an interesting take on many children's science books:
In uncharitable moments, I might gripe about these books’ bad artwork or mixed meters. But my real problem is with the way they present science. According to them, science is not, as we LWONers humbly remind you, The Last Word on Nothing. It’s an intimidating institution filled with intimidating grownups, all of whom have The Last Word on Pretty Much Everything. “Putting a dinosaur skeleton together takes hard work — and lots of special knowledge and skill,” one book intones.
I hadn't thought of it in this way before, but I can totally understand what she's saying.
I’ve started to think that the best books for budding scientists don’t lecture, teach, or even talk much about science — instead, they find other ways to celebrate the crooked, fascinating path that is the scientific life.
She concludes with a list of six books that she and kids enjoy. Although my children are older, I'm interested to read these. I'll also be checking back for comments from other readers. I'm sure the stack on my bedside table will be getting even taller.
Photo by apdk