Sunday, November 11, 2018

Review: This Little Scientist by Joan Holub

A Discovery Primer
by Joan Holub
Illustrated by Daniel Roode
Little Simon
Board Book
26 pages
ages 3 and up

Learn all about scientists who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for inventors-in-training!

Asking why. 
Then making a guess.
Asking how. 
Then proving with tests.

Little scientists make great big discoveries.

In this follow up to This Little President, This Little Explorer, and This Little Trailblazer now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering scientists in history! Highlighting ten memorable scientists who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Science and those people who made the universe around us more understandable are highlighted in this book.

On every two-page spread, a famous scientist is presented. First, there's a short four line explanation (in rhyme), and then there is a sentence or two with more detailed examples of the person's discovery. The people include a range from Isaac Newton to Grace Hopper to Jane Goodall, making sure various branches of science are addressed. At the end of the book, there's a list of more famous scientists with a small illustration of them, ending with a blank portrait frame and the word 'You'.

These pages try to include a vast variety of scientists from all fields, time frames, and cultures. It's a lovely mix, which helps young listeners to see how broad science can be. The book is written not only to be informative but also inspiring, making sure that young listeners are encouraged to seek their own discoveries.

The illustrations usually fit nicely to the person being portrayed and present them in a very friendly manner. The individuals are cheerful and support the encouraging atmosphere of the book. While there is a lot of information in these pages, the vocabulary and scientific topics mentioned are not necessarily understandable for the youngest listeners- those for whom board books are normally intended. I'm not sure kids under four will get much from this book...and even at that age, only those interested in science. Still, it's a wonderful way to introduce an important topic.

And here they are...

The author...
Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated over 140 children's books, including the Goddess Girls series, the Heroes in Training series, the New York Times bestselling picture book Might Dads (illustrated by James Dean), and Little Red Writing (illustrated by Melissa Sweet). She lives in North Carolina and is online at

The illustrator...
Daniel Roode is an illustrator and designer who draws inspiration from his French heritage, mid-century modern design, pop art, and nature. Daniel creates the bulk of his art digitally, an appropriate medium for his clean yet tactile aesthetic that has a distinct joie de vivre, He resides in Nashville, Tennessee, with his amazing wife Laura and their two funny cats.

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