100 Steps for Science by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Yukai Du
|100 Steps for Science by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Yukai Du|
|Category: Children's Non-Fiction|
|Reviewer: Sam Tyler|
|Summary: Learn about some of the most important discoveries in scientific history in bite size chunks that are beautiful to look at, but can sometimes be a but difficult to actually see.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 64||Date: April 2017|
|Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions|
|External links: Author's website|
Science is a far reaching subject that covers almost everything that exists in the Universe from the smallest specks to the largest space bound objects. Point at anything and there will be some sort of scientist who has studied it. Trying to fit all of this into 100 hundred steps for children is ambitious and should be lorded, but if you are going to try and do this; at least make it readable.
100 Steps for Science takes a ton of scientific ideas and puts them into one book. Over the 64 pages you get a whistle stop tour of the history of science from the planets, to the discovery of DNA. Each topic is given a succinct and intelligent paragraph or two that acts as a wonderful introduction to the subject for a curious 7-10 year old and is also wonderfully illustrated. Unfortunately, there is one flaw in the book's formatting that undermines the good work.
On a positive note, this is a very clever and beautiful science book. Du's illustrations are used as a way of adding colour and make proceedings almost feel like art rather than science. His bold use of colour dominates the book which arrives in a very well made A4 hardback. Look closely and you will also appreciate Gillespie's words. Although introductory, they are not condescending. The concepts that are covered require some basic knowledge from a child, but they will be rewarded will plenty of new facts and figures.
Gillespie and Du have tried to marry science with art and if they had got the balance right, this would have made a wonderful book for a child, or a family's coffee table. However, the balance is not right; it is fundamentally wrong. The choice to use bold colours really detracts from the information on each page. If one of the topics had been on colour blindness or poor sight, then perhaps the publishers may have noticed that this book is hard to read. The font is small and printed on various coloured backgrounds. At times you feel like you have to get a magnifying glass out to read. It feels like everyone's enthusiasm for Du's illustrations has left them forgetting that this is fundamentally a mini-encyclopaedia for a 7-10 year old.
If you have a very studious child who likes to take a book into a quiet corner and pour over it, 100 Steps will be an amazing book. They will lean in, squint a bit and learn a lot. However, to fundamentally alienate the text in favour of bold imagery means that I cannot recommend this book because it fails to fundamentally achieve its purpose – to educate.
There are children's non-fiction books that are full of colour, but also easy information; Ultimate Reptileopedia by Christina Wilsdon.
You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Steps for Science by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Yukai Du at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy 100 Steps for Science by Lisa Jane Gillespie and Yukai Du at Amazon.com.
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