Friday, March 10, 2017

Tech Talk! Quarks! (Baby Loves) by Ruth Spiro

Baby builds with blocks.

Nature builds with quarks.

Ruth Spiro takes on the job of explaining the quark, defined as "an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter," to tots perhaps still in diapers. It's quite a task!

Quarks are the building blocks of protons or neutrons, which together form the nuclei of atoms, which can combine to form molecules, which form, well. . . everything!

There's more to the physical world than meets the eye is the indisputable premise of Ruth Spiro's Baby Loves Quarks! (Baby Loves Science) (Charlesbridge, 2016), undoubtedly true, but hard to explain to tots who are still learning just to name... everything.

But perhaps opening up the mind to seeing the "invisible" facts of "observable" science is a good thing to introduce while the mind is fully flexible to new concepts, and author Spiro gives it a good try, aided by illustrator Irene Chan's friendly hand-holding quarks who love to get together and her bright almost three-dimensional models of atoms and molecules of nitrogen and oxygen, water and methane shown in motion. Little ones who delight in demolishing their block buildings will even be intrigued by the idea of smashing a nucleus, whatever that is. Author Spiro, artist Chan, and Charlesbridge Publishing get a A for Aspirational.

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