Reviews /

Science Factopia!

Authored by Rose Davidson
Illustrated by Andy Smith
Published by What on Earth Publishing Ltd

Science Factopia! is an illustrated reference book made up of 400 facts about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Part of the Factopia series and published in collaboration with Encyclopaedia Britannica, the text is structured into 99 double-page spreads group around different themes, supported by a science quiz, index and list of sources.

The facts are written in one or two sentences and presented in a logical trail, each one leading on from the one before. They are joined by a dotted line that takes you from the first to the last; occasionally, there are branches that take you back or forward to other linked sections of the book, and readers are encouraged to choose whether to follow the linear trail or to flick back and forth between topics. The topics covered are wide-ranging and include areas such as space, fossils, the human body, plant-life, computer science, experimentation and research: the sheer number of facts means there should be something for readers interested in any aspect of STEM. The text is illustrated through a mixture of photographs and cartoon-like drawings, though not every fact is accompanied by an illustration. Some of the text is in bold or different colours, but it is not always clear why as the words and phrases do not link to the index, which would be the conventional rationale for this feature.

This hardback book is one to have on the library shelves for budding scientists and engineers aged 9+, particularly those who like finding out about a lot of different topics, although they would need to be confident readers if accessing independently because of the level of the language and the multi-directional text. It could also be used as a resource for starting a new topic or as a quick reference guide during STEM lessons.