The Royal Society has an annual prize for the book that best communicates science to children or teenagers. The shortlist has now been announced, and the power to choose the winner is now in the hands of groups of young people across the UK.
The six fantastic books on the shortlist cover a wide range of subjects, but none of them fail in presenting accurate information in entertaining and inventive new ways.
Half of the shortlist is aimed at younger children. How Animals Live by Christiane Dorion (Templar) is beautifully illustrated by Beverley Young. It explores the diversity of habitats for different animals on our planet. Lift-the-flap Questions and Answers About Your Body by Katie Daynes (Usborne) contains over sixty flaps, and question-word headings which encourage children to really think about what they are reading.
The Usborne Big Book of Stars and Planets by Emily Bone (Usborne) has fold-out pages which allows for a huge amount of lively information to be presented.
For somewhat older readers, What Makes You YOU? by Gill Arbuthnott (A&C Black) succeeds extremely well at engagingly explaining DNA. We’ve Got your Number by Mukal Patel (Kingfisher) does similarly well with introducing many different aspects of mathematics. Eye Benders: the science of seeing and believing, by Clive Gifford with Anil Seth (Ivy Books) is filled with optical illusions and fascinating explanations of how they work, which encompasses both biology and neurology.
The winner will be announced later this month and we’ll be featuring a full review of the winning title.