Thursday, May 17, 2018

Meet the Scientists: Scientist, Scientist, What Do You See? A Scientific Parody by Chris Ferrie

Scientist, scientist, what do you see?

I see Marie Curie in her laboratory.

That's the easily-recognized image of Albert Einstein, pointing out his famous contemporary Marie Curie with her iconic beaker. and in Chris Ferrie's new board book for precocious tots, Scientist, Scientist, Who Do You See? (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, 2018), there are plenty of pairs of notables from science and technology.

Chemist Ahard Zewail introduces Grace Hopper, Navy admiral and builder of early computers. Early wizard of electromagnetic energy, James Maxwell, introduces his own contemporary Ada Lovelace, Victorian mathemetician and creator of the calculator codes that led to twentieth century computers.

Maxwell, Maxwell, who do you see?

I see Ada Lovelace, making computer enquiry.

There are more scientists along the way, Allan Turing, co-cracker of the Nazi Enigma encoding machine, and Chien Shiung Wu, George Washington Carver, Anna Mani, and Katherine Johnson are also introduced. This book is one of the recent flurry of early childhood books presenting personalities and information about complex scientific subjects, such as Ferrie's earlier ABCs of Science (Baby University) Although little listeners will need to fill in their live's work in later reading, this newest by Ferrie gives youngsters a chance to meet a variety of scientists, male and female, from all over the globe.

Properly appreciating this little book presupposes some previous experience with Martin and Carle's perennial best seller, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? but even lacking that, the rhythmic question-and-answer format moves this list of science stars along splendidly. And even if preschoolers don't quite pick up on this artful parody, grownups reading these books aloud certainly will, especially if they've also read Ferrie's Goodnight Lab: A Scientific Parody (Baby University, Ferrie's earlier parody of Margaret Wise Brown's eternally best-selling Goodnight Moon. It's all in good fun for early childhood education, and that's got to be a good thing!

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