Science books get easier to write as your audience gets older. This book is aimed at Key Stage 1 – the first years at primary school – which makes it a tough ask to explain what science is all about. The introductory page showing us what science is and what scientists do is by far the weakest. But once we get into topics like materials, plants, lights and forces, the whole thing brightens up and gets more interesting.
The main selling point of the book is the large numbers of flaps and other action points on the page. As it says on the front ‘with over 110 flaps to lift’. I think these would be most fun first time round, as most of them are sealed down so there’s a satisfying experience of breaking the seal as you go. Although a lot are simple reveals, there is some effort to vary the interaction – so you will get flaps below flaps, objects to drag and so on.
The science itself is fine, though the audience means the text is very limited, being a series of staccato statements like ‘Roots grow deep drown into the ground.’ I would have liked to have seen a bit more flow to the text. Mostly the science is okay, though it was very sparse on the likes of light and sound. And sometimes the simplification required rather loses the plot. So we are told of gravity ‘Gravity is a force that pulls things down to the ground.’ Sounds more Aristotle than Newton (let alone Einstein).
Despite not necessarily working brilliantly as a popular science book, it is a good way to get across the basics of the science curriculum (with some guidance) to these young readers and as such is a sound investment.
Review by Brian Clegg