A Scientist Like Me by Dr Shini Somara with Catherine Coe, is a heartening picturebook which explores science through story, in particular the story of Ruben, a little boy, who is searching for a present to give to his Mum for her birthday, after breaking the one he had originally made.
Through a series of vibrant illustrations by Nadja Sarell, the reader is taken on a journey of wonder as Ruben’s curiosity and subsequent conversations with his Mum (a Biologist), lead to many discoveries about the world around him. Each double-page spread provides many talking points for children, on a variety of topics, and the opportunity to learn about scientists such as Marie Daly, Cynthia Kenyon and Alexander Fleming. It celebrates scientists (male and female) through a rich and technical language experience.
The text uses two different fonts, one which is used to tell the story and the other to introduce the facts shared by Ruben’s Mum. The factual information is cleverly presented in thought bubbles with a squared background, representative of the style and format in which children draw charts and record results.
A Scientist Like Me celebrates the world we live in and its message is one of great importance – that scientists have the power to improve our everyday lives by making the world a better place. Like Ruben, they do not always know what they are looking for but that is the beauty of the discovery itself! Children will be able to see themselves represented in this story as it taps into the natural curiosity that young children have for exploration and how/why things are the way they are.
This book would make a brilliant addition to any school library, but it would also be very well placed in Key Stage One classrooms as it will compliment many of the topics taught in Science and Geography. At the end of the book, there is an exciting experiment that can be carried out at school or at home.
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