Friday, February 15, 2019

Review - Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking (Little People, BIG DREAMS)
by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara
illustrated by Matt Hunt
Date: 2018
Publisher: Lincoln Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book non-fiction
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

New in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Stephen Hawking, the genius physicist and author.

When Stephen Hawking was a little boy, he used to stare up at the stars and wonder about the universe. Although he was never top of the class, his curiosity took him to the best universities in England: Oxford and Cambridge. It also led him to make one of the biggest scientific discoveries of the 20th century: Hawking radiation. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the brilliant physicist's life.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I've seen books from this series pop up from time to time on my Goodreads feed, but I'd never tried one before. This particular book is about the British physicist Stephen Hawking.

As a biography aimed at kids, it's pretty good. I didn't learn anything I hadn't known before (since I've seen The Theory of Everything, the biopic based on the memoir by his wife) but the book laid out his life and accomplishments in a nice, easy-to-understand format. There's a timeline in the back that offers a little more biographical information about the man and his disease (referred to only as ALS; this is a children's book, after all). Hawking had so many accomplishments that it must've been difficult to decide what to focus on. This book mainly talks about his discovery of Hawking radiation and glosses over most of the rest of the things he did.

I suppose this book is a good place to start for kids who don't know anything at all about the physicist. Luckily, there are some books listed at the end for additional reading, which is a nice touch. If this volume is indicative of the quality of simple, kid-oriented biographies in the rest of the series, then I hope to read some more of them in the future.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lincoln Children's Books for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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