10 uncommon yet marvelous science books for children
Experiment, read, repeat
When it comes to children’s literature, the number of titles is about equivalent to the number of stars in the sky. Needless to say, finding something worthwhile is a challenge. No worries, though! We have scouted the market for you and picked 10 gems from all around the world for all ages. A good book will certainly come in handy when your child needs to pass the time between MEL Science experiments!
1. “The Secret Life of…” series
Mariona Tolosa Sisteré’s trilogy including “The Secret Life of Viruses,” “The Secret Life of Boogers,” and “The Secret Life of Boo-Boos” is perfect for preschoolers. The surprisingly in-depth explanations of how bacteria and viruses work and how our bodies defend themselves in return feature beautifully disgusting illustrations of this never ending battle. If you want your child to understand what illnesses are and why hygiene is important, these works are the key!
“The Incredible Freedom Machines”
Our own identity starts developing as soon as we can tell ourselves apart from the world around us. And Kirli Saunders’s “The Incredible Freedom Machines” is a creative way to broach the topic of how important it is to choose your own path in life with young readers. The story itself is a metaphorical journey of a young girl dreaming of acquiring a wondrous machine capable of fulfilling her dreams. The trick is that getting such a device in her fictional world requires figuring out what the machine actually is.
3. “The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up”
Another great symbolic avenue to explain maturing and finding yourself is Jill Tomlinson’s “The Gorilla Who Wanted to Grow Up.” The protagonist of this book is a child gorilla eagerly wishing to become an adult. As it happens, she gradually learns that growing up is not only about cool looks and chest-beating.
4. “The Wild Robot”
Automatons are soulless machines who know nothing of feelings, right? Wrong. At least if we think of them in terms of the fictional world created by Peter Brown. The novel follows a robot stuck on an uninhabited island. Can she survive on her own in this new and unfamiliar environment? Her adventure will turn out to be an alluring tale of friendship, love, and the ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
5. “Mouse Adventures” series
Fiction and metaphor can be a great way to explore life’s wonders and hardships, but a slightly more direct approach to the world can be every bit as captivating. Albert Einstein, Neil Armstrong, and Charles Lindbergh were living milestones of humanity’s technical progress, and Torben Kuhlmann’s stories introduce them through the eyes of a small time-traveling mouse.
6. “The Story of Inventions”
As humanity progresses in terms of science and technology, it’s getting harder and harder for every new generation to catch up with everything invented before their time. This comic book by Catherine Barr successfully tackles this issue by portraying the major scientific breakthroughs of human history.
7. “George” series by Lucy and Stephen Hawking
Frankly, explaining the latest discoveries and theories to the general public is no easy task for a scientist. However, Lucy and Stephen Hawking took a creative approach and penned a series about the adventures of George. The fictional plot of the books, which involves traveling through space, is actually a brilliant outline for explaining the nature of the universe.
8. “The Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature”
Besides learning through fun, our experiments also offer a good share of interactivity. “The Outside: A Guide to Discovering Nature” by Maria Ana Peixe Dias and Inês Teixeira do Rosário does just the same: it's a well-designed, comprehensive catalog where almost anything we call “nature” is introduced through a dialogue-like narrative endorsing real-life exploration.
Some topics are merely hard to explain; others are extremely difficult. Animal rights are one of the latter, and can only be truly understood through empathy as opposed to a rational approach. Jean-Claude Mourlevat’s “Jefferson” is an exciting detective novel featuring a hedgehog forced to venture into the world of humans after being framed for murder.
The final title in our list of children's books is a young adult book suitable for teenagers over 16. We mustn’t forget that science and technology are actually tools that can be used to make human life either comfortable or miserable. While the British TV show “Black Mirror” successfully explores this message, “Heartstream” by Tom Pollock offers a deeper and much less exaggerated approach. This one is a detective novel too, but unlike “Jefferson,” it takes place in a world like ours with only one major difference — the existence of an app capable of conveying emotions.
This reading selection works great in tandem with MEL Science experiments! After reading these, your child might catch a real science bug — keeping one of our kits close at hand for the occasion is a fine idea.
Bear in mind that while the books in this list are written for children, there is no shame in checking them out yourself! They are a great, homey way to get more familiar with science and nature. Besides, thanks to the design and stories, the titles above are just a magnificent addition to your home library as collectibles!