Book Reviews – Science

Curious and inquisitive! Children love to ask questions that from an adult’s perspective are difficult to answer, such as like “Who was the first person?” and “Why do we have night and day?” These types of questions can be explored in many different ways, for example, from a scientific perspective.

The evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’s book “The Magic of Reality” provides children with inspiration to continue to discuss and explore these types of questions. The book addresses questions that concern us all and we might have thought about them when we were growing up and then forgotten all about them. Powerful questions that in many ways is intriguing because you never find the answer or the truth. Our knowledge about the world and the universe is constantly changing. It is a rewarding activity to continue to marvel and explore big questions

There are a wide range of topics that are discussed and this  is a book that can be used for several years.  You can dip into it read suitable sections for younger children or let older children use it for exploring  science by themselves or school projects. There are explanations about atoms or the scientific explanation to the magic behind the rainbows. But more difficult concepts are discussed, such as using red shifts to determine the age of stars. Several different perspectives are used to explore the questions and the messages are that the real magic lies in the actual science behind these things. Ancient myths and stories from the Bible are considered as entertaining tales.

Strength with the book is that Dawkins admits that he does not fully understand and that that is fine. This is a great approach to science and it teaches children the importance to continue to search and explore subjects. Science books need illustrations for the ideas to sparkle and come alive, and this book is beautifully illustrated by Dave McKean.

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