Whimsical rhymes describe a range of science topics for a younger audience.
Magnetism, geology, and the life cycle of a flea are just a few of the topics explored in this bright, energetic picture book. Appealing illustrations show a diverse array of characters gardening, building, sensing, and experimenting, with forays into the solar system and the animal kingdom as well. Each full-page spread presents a poem, and it is here that the book begins to fall down. The poems vary in structure: Some are rhyming couplets, some alternate rhymed and unrhymed lines, a few utilize repetition. However, only some of the stanzas effectively utilize meter, so readers are often required to wrench syllables around in order to get them to scan, marring the reading experience whether it’s to oneself or to an audience. The wacky poem about chemistry, for example, concludes “Hurray for the Captain! / The King of Chemistry! / His all-purpose cleaner / is also earth friend-ly!” Some of the scenarios are fun, others are more meditative, and the titular piece seems intended to encourage girls in STEM, but the educational possibilities are overall stymied by the versification.
The overarching concept, introducing children to science subjects using humor, is solid; too bad the verse doesn’t rise to the occasion. (Picture book/poetry. 4-8)