Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small: Dr. Jess Wade, illustrated by Melissa Castrillón
Join a young girl on a hugely impressive scientific journey as she explores the very very small.
Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small is a brilliant exploration of how nanotechnology is changing the world and how it can make the world a better place for everyone. Bursting with cutting edge science, children are in very capable hands as renowned scientist and champion of equality, Dr. Jess Wade, expertly takes readers on a mind-blowing journey that unlocks the science of the very very small.
The book simply begins with the statement, “Look around your home. Everything is made out of something.” Accompanying these words, that will immediately have children looking around their own home, is a lovely double-page cutaway of a home that identifies the different materials within: the paper book, the wood cabinet, the glass window, the concrete floor, the plastic duck, the cotton duvet cover, the brick chimney and so on.
Dr. Wade then puts things under the microscope as she zooms in on the tiny building blocks that make up everything in the world. Scientific terms of atoms and elements are introduced and with Dr. Wade’s assured scientific hand guiding readers through, nothing every feels overwhelming. A clever mix of everyday objects are used to highlight different elements immediately making the science relatable and real.
The introduction of carbon is when things start to get really exciting and is the point at which we dive into the world of nanoscience as we learn that from graphite - which is made from carbon - scientists discovered a nanomaterial. Every child will be wowed by the potential for this new material - graphene - that could make a tight-rope strong enough to support an elephant. Readers get to marvel over this incredible new material as Dr. Wade reveals its use in creating more efficient aeroplanes to self-washing windowpanes to the modern mobile phone to advancements in medical procedures. It could even be the key to making sea-water drinkable and enabling visually impaired people to see, graphene truly is incredible.
Nanoscience is a very complicated area and there is still much to discover about it and its secrets. What there is to know about it is made entirely accessible to young readers in this beautiful and colourful non-fiction book with clear and easy to understand language and relatable examples. Melissa Castrillón’s artwork is clean, engaging and is illustrated largely using primary colours. Back-matter includes further information on nanoscience and the key roles of various scientists and the tools that they use.
A very impressive and stylish read that makes one of the more complicated areas of STEM immediately accessible and will definitely get kids excited about the science of the very very small. Essential reading for budding scientists and engineers.
Recommended for 6+.
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