A little history, a little physics

Well, friends, summer’s at full blast, and with the garden jungle calling and some mountain hikes and road trips, I haven’t been reading as much.  My first day back at the library, though, I found these three in my stack.  What fun!

Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas presents the amazing life of Vivien Thomas, an African-American growing up in the segregated South who found work with a White researcher (despite negative attitudes about his potential), developed experimental medical procedures, and later taught student doctors.  His attention to detail and tiny stitches created techniques which saved thousands, and yet he received relatively little recognition until late in his life.  This one’s especially great for biography projects which touch on how we all have the power to change the world.

Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure, where have you been all my life?  Not only do you have an awesome title, but your illustrations are absolutely fun, wacky and cheerful.  You explain the scientific method, mass, density, gravity…and so much more.  Along the way, Professor Astro Cat flies a balloon, explains the nature of the universe via flowers and the Fibonacci series, and sits on Isaac Newton’s head.  Whoa!  Now I must find more of these!

Clara: The Mostly True Story of the Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, and Won the Hearts of Everyone…While She Ate Her Way Up and Down a Continent!  Emily Arnold McCully has done some wonderful illustrations to tell Clara’s story, and it’s fun to see what an alien creature she must have been to Europeans in the eighteenth century.  It’s also an interesting way to begin talking to kids about how our treatment of animals has changed over the years.

They’re very different books, but wonderful in their own ways.  Pick one up!

 Tiny Stitches: The Life of Medical Pioneer Vivien Thomas by Gwendolyn Hooks, illustrated by Colin Bootman

Professor Astro Cat’s Atomic Adventure by Dr. Dominic Wallman and Ben Newman

Clara: The Mostly True Story of the Rhinoceros Who Dazzled Kings, Inspired Artists, and Won the Hearts of Everyone…While She Ate Her Way Up and Down a Continent! by Emily Arnold McCully

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