Another board book attempts to communicate complex scientific ideas to very young children.
This book and its companions, all aimed at very young children, presume the intended audience is familiar with conventional symbols to convey information, as all the explanations are made visually by means of arrows that indicate airflow. It stretches the imagination to believe toddlers will follow explanations delivered that way. Even more baffling is the assumption that toddlers have in their vocabulary arsenal words such as “flow,” “angle,” “deflect,” “lift,” and “thrust.” Further complicating the attempt is the oversimplification necessary to communicate to youngsters. Boiling concepts down to such statements as “This ship is full of fuel. / If the fuel goes out, // the ship goes forward” perhaps ought to have indicated the futility of this particular effort. In companion General Relativity, there is a page with horizontal and vertical lines forming a grid. Many toddlers might identify this as a piece of mosquito netting, but they would be wrong, as it is in fact “flat space.” Later they will also find out that “Mass drags space.” And “Space drags mass.” The explanations in Newtonian Physics and Quantum Physics are no better. Adults wishing to introduce children to the laws of physics will be more effective—and have more fun—playing with blocks, making waves in the bathtub, and launching paper planes into the air.
The importance of the STEM fields in our world cannot be overstated. But the importance of understanding early childhood development when writing for preschoolers cannot be overstated either. (Board book. 2-5)