Cats react to science facts, by Izzy Howell (Wayland) has won the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize. The aim of the prize is to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science.
A great feature of the prize is the judging process. A shortlist is drawn up by a panel of scientists and children’s literature enthusiasts (including, this year, Cressida Cowell and Konnie Huq). Then it’s over to 13,000 young judges, drawn from 500+ schools, science centres, and community groups across the UK, to read, and select the winner. Cats react to science facts is assigned an interest age of 6-11, and a reading age of 7+. Judging from the comments and reviews on online book recommendation sites, the jokes and funny pictures seem to appeal most to the younger end of the target readership. Humorous cats guide us through the core areas of science (outer space, the human body, forces and materials). Bitesize text, amusing photos, diagrams, and a react-o-meter all help to make science memorable and fun to learn.
Information about the other short-listed books can be found here.
Also in this section of the RS website are some fantastic resources which promote a deep understanding of science in an enjoyable way. Particularly recommended are the videos fronted by Brian Cox of carefully thought-through science experiments for primary schools. Each experiment is supported by four videos: a set up video for teachers; a preparatory video showing the experiment in action with examples of common misconceptions and how to address these; part three gives an example of a real life context where the experiment topic is relevant; the final video gives an example of current research in an area related to the topic of the experiment, allowing students to see scientists at work.