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A a science book for Christmas? Yes!

I vividly remember the excitement of finding carefully wrapped books under my Christmas tree when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong, I was also expecting Barbi houses and pretty dresses, but my parents did make sure I was hooked on books early on.

It’s a tough task for any parent to engage children in reading, especially if it’s related to science. It’s much easier to get distracted than to focus on the words you don’t know about things you’ve never heard of before.

The trick that worked well for me was illustrated encyclopaedias, where serious subjects like General Theory of Relativity were explained using images as much as words, with helpful pointers and highlighted boxes to keep me entertained. I could spend hours browsing History, Geography and Biology tomes, fascinated by the richness of imagery. I didn’t fully understand everything, of course, but it trained my brain into being constantly curious about the world around me.

The one book that I would recommend as a universal all-rounder with amazing quality of illustrations is Science: The Definite Guide, edited by Adam Hart-Harris, a famous British polymath and BBC presenter. Rarely you have a person who can masterfully combine “popular science” with academic credibility, which I think is the main secret of this book.

It would make a fantastic gift for everyone aged 5+, even I got one for myself to start off my own little science collection (my childhood books are still in my mother’s house waiting to be collected for my future kids).

It’s £16 on Amazon in hardcover, which makes it cheaper than most toys on the market.

If your kid is already into science and no further “help” is needed, I suggest you give him a subscription to BBC Focus 🙂

Stay tuned!

Ilona x

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