Science and Me: Inspired by the Discoveries of Novel Prize Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine by Ali Winter, illustrations by Mickaël El Fathi

Science and Me: Inspired by the Discoveries of Novel Prize Laureates in Physics, Chemistry and Medicine by Ali Winter, illustrations by Mickaël El Fathi. Lantana Publishing, 9781911373711, 2021

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5+

Genre: Nonfiction

 What did you like about the book? This book looks at the scientific achievements of 13 different people from around the world–all Nobel Prize laureates. Some of the scientists featured include Curie, Marconi, Muller, Chandrasekhar, Tu, Einstein, and Strickland, just to name a few. We not only see what they invented or discovered (radio waves, how plants produce chlorophyll, our body’s own natural antiseptic, laser light, and a treatment for malaria), but the reader can also see how these achievements helped people around the world. The reader can also see the heroism of Marie and Irene Curie during WWI as they risked their lives to help wounded soldiers, how the work of Guglielmo Marconi helped rescue hundreds of people when the Titanic sank, how Hermann Joseph Muller understood the dangers of radiation exposure and pleaded to the United Nations to end nuclear weapons testing, and how the work of Mario J. Molina proved that CFCs found in many household products were actually causing damage in the ozone layer. This book does feature so many wonderful advancements and contributions to the field of science, but more importantly, how these discoveries made life better for our world. 

The artwork provided by Mickaël El Fathi is nothing short of amazing. The illustrations are in a collage fashion, but if you look closely, the reader will see interesting bits of information in the different sections. For example, there is an illustration featuring Marie and Irene Curie driving a medical van during WWI. The brown exterior of the van is made by using several headlines from newspapers featuring the events of the war. Irene Curie’s lab coat resembles a typical medical coat, however, the elements chart is displayed over the white of the coat. I especially loved the illustration featuring the efforts of Hermann Joseph Muller in protecting people from the harmful effects of radiation. It appears to be a bomb (looks like a bright yellow sun) that was dropped from a plane overhead. Muller is seen holding a shield that is refracting the effects of the radiation from a group of people below. The illustrations truly enhance the understanding of the contributions of these scientists.

Anything you did not like about the book. Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? This book is perfect for children between the ages of eight and twelve years old. Each story is just a small sampling of the accomplishments, but I feel there is enough there that will encourage children to find more information. This is a wonderful book for children who love science, but it also features stories of persistence, believing in yourself, and fighting for what is important–those are all concepts that will appeal to a wide range of children.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, science classrooms.

Where would you shelve it? Nonfiction or biographies.

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Kristin Guay, former youth services librarian.

Date of review: April 5, 2021

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