Wade, Jess. Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small. Somerville, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2021.
What a spectacular science book for young readers! Skillfully designed – with fonts of different styles and sizes – and cheerfully illustrated, this picture book about the astonishing world of nanotechnology is highly recommended for readers 6 to 10 years old. 

They will learn that pencils contain graphite – layers of carbon atoms on top of each other – that leaves marks on paper because the layers so easily slide over each other and smudge. 

A single layer of graphite is graphene, the strongest material now known; it is used to make airplanes lighter in weight and windows clean themselves when touched by sunlight.

More books to expand general knowledge

Older readers may also enjoy this picture book. Too often, it seems, students in grades 6 to 8 are strongly encouraged to read but not shown how easy it is to have fun with books. Three-dimensional reading – the kind that requires paper – does not have to involve serious, multi-chaptered books or humorous graphic novels. It can include picture books that expand general knowledge. A few minutes of reading and you come away with more facts to improve understanding of – and pique interest in – our incredible world.

More ideas for encouraging fun while reading

Generally, I recommend borrowing books from a library. How can we possibly buy every book we want to read? But this is a picture book you might like to purchase and keep. For a long time. The very first book I owned – the first book that was specifically mine – was Our Earth: What It Is, part of the Whitman Learn About series. I was six years old and so fascinated by all the incredible information that my parents ordered the whole series for me. Every month, a new title would arrive in the mail. Bliss! I still have almost the whole set, including that first book with these sentences: “One day we will land on the moon and look back at the Earth. What a wonderful sight we will see!” Decades in the future, you will still appreciate Nano but what will you notice about the progress of technology? What will make you smile?

What books do you own that you have had for a long time? What books do you still treasure? Let me know!

I Wonder…

Hopkinson, Deborah. The Humblebee Hunter. New York: Disney Hyperion Books, 2010.
Charles Darwin’s children help him study bumblebees in this fictional account of the life of the famous scientist who changed our understanding of science. Biographical information is provided at the end of the story. A picture book recommended for readers 8 to 14 years old. 

Meyer, Carolyn. The True Adventures of Charley Darwin.Boston: Graphia, c2009. 
Charles Darwin was born to a well-to-do family in 19th century England. But he didn’t have a childhood filled with happiness. He knew what he enjoyed – spending time outdoors – but how could he turn that into a career?  Based on the diaries and correspondence of the great naturalist, this novel will appeal to readers who enjoy true stories of adventure. Great for readers eleven years old to adult. [Darwin, Charles; Adventure and adventurers; Voyages and travels; Evolution (Biology); Historical fiction; Naturalists]

More historical fiction HERE 

Five biographies of Darwin HERE

How did everything begin?

Schutten, Jan Paul. The Mystery of Life: How Nothing Became Everything. New York : Aladdin; Hillsboro, Oregon: Beyond Word, 2015.

How did the universe begin? How old is the earth? Where did the first creature come from? Why do all creatures start out alike? Can the cells in your body talk to one another? Can you see evolution for yourself? Is there life on other planets? Do scientists conceal the facts? These – and many other – questions are all answered in this 230-page book highly recommended for readers 11 years old and up.

Read this book slowly. A few pages per day. So much fascinating information explained in such a simple, easy-to-understand way that you will want to own this book and not just borrow it from a library.

If you really want to learn a lot, draw coloured illustrations to help you remember all the facts you will discover. Put your illustrations into a little booklet that you can read again later.

(On the last page, the author asks, ‘What should you do with this information?’ Decide for yourself, he answers. Talk to religious people, to religious scientists and atheist scientists. Do some research and decide for yourself.)

Read MORE books on evolution.