Friday, September 2, 2016
Ada Twist, Scientist
by Andrea Beaty; illus. by David Roberts
32 pages; ages 5-7
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2016
themes: imagination, curiosity
ADA MARIE! ADA MARIE!
Said not a word till the day she turned three.
She bounced in her crib and looked all around,
observing the world but not making a sound.
Ada Marie is curious about everything, and explores ways to answer her questions - which is exactly what scientists do. She does some research, comes up with a hypothesis, then conducts tests. Some are successful. Some land her in the "thinking chair". How do you know that you can't get an odor off the cat by drying it until you've tested it in the dryer?
What I like about this book: I love her name, inspired by two great women in science: Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie. I love that her first word was "why?" and that she tries things and fails - the sure mark of a curious scientist. And I really love the questions she comes up with. When she smells a horrible stench she asks, "How does a nose know there's something to smell?" I love that her parents support her quest of sorting fiction from fact, and their solution to writing on the walls.
The illustrations are fun, from the cover art to the end pages (graph paper, of course) to the fails and flops and explosions Ada Marie generates.
Beyond the Book: For a quick introduction, check out the book trailer.
Experiment like Ada Twist. In the book, Ada uses soda, mint Mentos, and food coloring to see what happens. A suggestion (having done this myself) - make a paper tube to hold the mentos and a cardboard slider that you can move so they all go in at once. Then move back cuz it will get messy!
It's fun to make the geysers, but turn it into a real experiment by testing how variables affect the geysers. Try different sodas (diet v. non diet, cola v. ginger ale), soda temperature (warm, cold), "freshness" (new bottle v. one opened hours ago). Here's a video that explains the mento reaction with diet soda.
Do some of the activity sheets over at Abrams books.There's also a teaching guide available for download.
Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. And although this isn't your typical "science book, Sally's sharing it with the folks over at the STEM Friday roundup. Review copy provided by the publisher.