The question posed this time:
Are there any children’s books that are dear to you, either as a child or a parent, and especially ones that perhaps strike a chord with those from a science sensibility? Just curious really. And it doesn’t have to be a picture book, doesn’t even have to be a children’s book – just a book that, for whatever reason, worked for you.
Dave, World’s Fair
So, today is the last day of the Children’s book workshop, and it’s been a nice change of pace for sure. The instructor, Susan Juby, was excellent and the content generally helpful and did I say, nice change of pace? I also picked up a few great quotes about children in general, and in children’s lit specifically. [more]
Janet, Adventures in Ethics and Science
Deciding on the *favorite* would be really hard in our household, but maybe we can bust out a good list. And as it happens, today’s Sprog Blogging looks at three children’s books: [more]
Mark, Good Math, Bad Math
I’ve got two kids, a girl who’s almost six, and a boy who’s three. And they’re both showing serious signs of being pre-geeks. Whenever we go to a new place, the first thing they do is head for the bookshelves to see if there are any books they haven’t seen yet. My daughter’s school had a book fair last year, and we ended up spending a little over $100 on books for a kindergartener, and another $30 or so for the (then) 2yo. So obviously, I end up spending a lot of time reading childrens books! [more]
Bora, A Blog Around the Clock
Here is my list of childhood favourites, the books that turned me on to science – a list that reflects the time and place where I grew up: As a little kid, I have practically memorized the 1971 translation of the 1968 book The new golden treasury of natural historyby Bertha Morris Parker (under the title of Riznica Prirode) [more].
Ben Cohen, World’s Fair
I have to answer on behalf of my son, who’s currently quite smitten with some outstanding children’s books. For my own sake, I was always a big fan of Make Way for Ducklings, although I can’t say that was for scientific or even ecological reasons (though I know I could in the least recast it for an environmental-ecological theme). Now, as for Whitt, he’s enamored less with books that show him why something is the way it is and more with anything that shows him how he can make things, or at least see how it works. So, he’ll love a good anatomy book, not so much because he then knows *why* blood flows all around, but because he can see *how* it does. And so Richard Scarry books fit the bill really nicely there, the ones that show the inside of cars or waterwheels or buildings under construction. Cars and Trucks< and Things That Go and What do People Do All Day?, are the tops. So I offer those as great children’s books.
Karmen, Chaotic Utopia
As both a mom and a kid at heart, I couldn’t resist joining in Children’s Book week (month?) started by the World’s Fair. Behind every child is a budding scientist. They approach the world with an unrelenting curiosity, testing hypothesis at every corner [more].
From Susan Juby, author of Alice, I Think
For recommendations, a couple of books come to mind. Gerald Durrell wrote a series of books about his family and his early career as a naturalist. The first book was called My Family and Other Animals and it was brilliantly funny and pure magic for those of us obsessed with the natural world and all of its creatures. The second book is more recent. It’s called The Radioactive Boy Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein. It’s about a teenager who tries to build a nuclear reactor in his backyard garden shed. The book grew out of Silverstein’s article in Harper’s Magazine and it’s a fascinating exploration of obsession and loneliness and atomic energy.
From Rhea Tregebov, author of Sasha amd the Wiggly Tooth
So glad you’re covering this issue. As you know, I’m a children’s author myself, and share your sense of the importance of kids’ lit. While I didn’t read this myself as a kid, I do find it one of the most astounding picture books around: Vera B. Williams’ Cherries and Cherry Pits. The level of sophistication both visually and in terms of narrative is really remarkable and beyond that, the message that she has is very signficant. I won’t say more, but I do recommend this book to all readers, kids and non.
From James McCann, author of Rancour, President of CWILL.BC (Childrens Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia)
My biggest influences of science in fiction would have to be Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (written as a satire of an HG Wells novel), Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (originally a short story called “The Firefighter”), and, more recently, Darwinia by Robert Charles Wilson. In each there is an element of science that warns us of how we may lose our humanity should we rely too much on technology as our companion/entertainment, and in each is a tale of morality that stays true throughout the decades.
While religion brings us closer in relationship to each other, technology brings us closer in relationship to machines.
And looks like we have another post from Jacob.
“It would take more than a million Earths to make a ball as big as the sun. It would take about 109 Earths to make a straight line across the sun.”
Thanks to everyone who particpated. Cheers ~Dave