An exemplary outing for little scientists.


From the Rosa's Workshop series , Vol. 4

Rosa models STEM learning for early childhood.

The scientific method—questioning, prediction, research, observation, and noting results—is demonstrated by Rosa and her friends Misha, Dawson, and Shala. Tools and terminology are mostly defined by pictures or context, but Dawson helpfully looks up the meaning of germinate in a book. The book covers each step of Rosa’s experiment, from planting the seed to examining the “minibeasts” the fully-grown flowers attract. The effect of light is noted when one plant is left in the dark and others are seen turning toward the window. Three other titles in the Rosa’s Workshop series introduce other friends: Jamil, Sadiq, Kezia, Gina, Mali, Roman, and Lottie; most are kids of color, like Rosa. Rosa plays with just three other children in each title—a reasonable size for a play group of active, curious, and eager-to-learn children. Her friends reflect a healthy diversity of gender, heritage, family, and disability. Shala uses a wrist splint, and Rosa and Roman wear glasses. Rosa’s Big Boat Experiment uses water play to explore density and flotation. Rosa’s Big Bridge Experiment highlights engineering and teamwork. After exploring the properties of yeast in Rosa’s Big Pizza Experiment, they share the results. The sturdy pages will stand up to handling when children use these titles as inspiration for their own hands-on projects. These will be useful in classrooms as well as for parents and caregivers thrust into the role of teacher by Covid.

An exemplary outing for little scientists. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: April 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-78628-364-1

Page Count: 20

Publisher: Child's Play

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2020

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A nursery school approach to a general concept. "A tree is nice"- Why? Because..."We can climb the pirate ship...pick the playhouses out of the leaves. A tree is nice to hang a swing in...Birds build nests in trees... Sticks come off trees...People have picnics there too"...etc. etc. One follows the give and take of a shared succession of reactions to what a tree- or trees- can mean. There is a kind of poetic simplicity that is innate in small children. Marc Simont has made the pictures, half in full color, and they too have a childlike directness (with an underlying sophistication that adults will recognize). Not a book for everyone -but those who like it will like it immensely. The format (6 x 11) makes it a difficult book for shelving, so put it in the "clean hands" section of flat books. Here's your first book for Arbor Day use- a good spring and summer item.

Pub Date: June 15, 1956

ISBN: 978-0-06-443147-7

Page Count: 36

Publisher: Harper

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1956

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Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions.


A genius way to ease kids into the new adventure that is kindergarten.

In an imaginative ruse that’s maintained through the whole book, a young astronaut prepares for his mission to Planet Kindergarten. On liftoff day (a space shuttle–themed calendar counts down the days; a stopwatch, the minutes), the small family boards their rocket ship (depicted in the illustrations as the family car), and “the boosters fire.” They orbit base camp while looking for a docking place. “I am assigned to my commander, capsule, and crewmates.” Though he’s afraid, he stands tall and is brave (not just once, either—the escape hatch beckons, but NASA’s saying gets him through: “FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION”). Parents will certainly chuckle along with this one, but kindergarten teachers’ stomach muscles will ache: “[G]ravity works differently here. We have to try hard to stay in our seats. And our hands go up a lot.” Prigmore’s digital illustrations are the perfect complement to the tongue-in-cheek text. Bold colors, sharp lines and a retro-space style play up the theme. The intrepid explorer’s crewmates are a motley assortment of “aliens”—among them are a kid in a hoodie with the laces pulled so tight that only a nose and mouth are visible; a plump kid with a bluish cast to his skin; and a pinkish girl with a toothpick-thin neck and huge bug eyes.

Sure to assuage the fears of all astronauts bound for similar missions. (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: May 20, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4521-1893-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2014

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