New Series: Science Storybooks January 23, 2018 – Posted in: Book News, Booklist Updates – Tags: KS1, Non-fiction, Science
Walker Books has brought out a wonderful new series of narrative non-fiction books, which combine charming stories with must-know facts about science. Written by Martin Jenkins, who is also the author of several Nature Storybooks for Walker (including the award-winning The Emperor’s Egg), the titles in the Science Storybooks series are aimed at KS1 – although they are also accessible enough to appeal to EYFS pupils.
The stories are expressive narratives about animals and nature, which have moments of action that make the world they describe seem to leap from the page. Meanwhile, the science is presented with clarity, using language that young children will understand. The text in each book is also complemented by bold, characterful pictures from illustrators including Richard Jones, Hannah Tolson and Richard Smythe.
As in the Nature Storybooks, some factual elements are presented separately from the main story. The story is printed in large font while, elsewhere on the page, text in a different font and a smaller size conveys the scientific background. For example, in Fox in the Night, which introduces the topic of light and dark, a fox is depicted leaving her home at sunset. The story reads, ‘Fox wakes up again. She’s even hungrier now. The sun is going down and the people have all gone. She leaves her den.’ Then on the opposite page the text reads, ‘When the sun is lower in the sky, its light is less bright. Shadows are longer too.’
The dual strands of story and scientific information make each of the titles in the Science Storybooks series very versatile, as they work as both essential topic resources and absorbing stories in their own right – so each book is ideal to use in class, but could also make a good choice as a reading book. Children are also encouraged to discuss or think further about the scientific topic by way of some questions to consider at the end of each book, followed by a useful index that suggests looking up important words as they occur in both the main narrative and the factual sections of text.