Wild Ideas

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Wild Ideas Book Review Critical Blast

"The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

I'm a third-grade teacher, so I have the pleasure of teaching science regularly in my classroom. Unfortunately, in a day of state testing and Common Core standards, science doesn't receive quite the emphasis it deserves. Mix this with attacks from groups that don't believe in science and it's a scary world in which we live. Don't get me wrong, there's a lot of crackpots out there, but solid work following the scientific method should be applauded. I tell my students all the time that magic is just science we don't already understand. I believe we should be leading our youth towards careers in science; that's where the jobs are.

Let me tell you about a wonderful starting point to interest children in science.

I recently read the work of the amazing scientist Elin Kelsey who crafts lyrical prose to expose our youth to the "magic" of science. Kelsey clearly takes a non-combative approach to teaching the value of an open-minded view of the world. Her writing is easy to read for young and old but there's a beautiful message. In 2012 the book "You are Stardust" she attempted to explain how interconnected all the creatures of the world are to humanity. This month, "Wild Ideas" follows it up with the beautiful theme of creative thinking and problem solving. Kelsey uses the learning of animals to inspire our own creativity and, let me tell you, it makes for a brilliant book.

The lyrical words are illustrated in vibrant visuals by the incomparable Soyeon Kim. Her style is unlike anything you've seen before. She uses cutouts merged with paints and sketches to craft three-dimensional imagery that seems to be escaping the page. As a grown adult, the images are eyepoppingly gorgeous, and they will enamour a child. I read the book to my two-year old and his eyes feasted on the amazing textures. I know we will enjoy reading this work again and again.

I give these books my highest recommendation. I just hope Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim keep bringing more titles like this. Get more details at: http://www.owlkidsbooks.com/wildideas.

4.5 / 5.0