Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Review - Fairy Science

Fairy Science
by Ashley Spires
Date: 2019
Publisher: Tundra Books (NY)
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 40
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

The award-winning author of The Most Magnificent Thing introduces the value of science and inquiry to young readers with humor and heart. For fans of Ada Twist, Scientist and Hidden Figures.

Esther the fairy doesn't believe in magic. But fairies are all about magic, despite Esther's best efforts to reveal the science of their world. No matter how she and her bird, Albert, explain that rainbows are refracted light rather than a path to gold, or that mist is water evaporating rather than an evil omen, or the importance of the scientific method, her fairymates would rather just do magic. So when the other fairies' solution to helping a dying tree is to do a mystical moonlight dance, Esther decides to take it upon herself to resuscitate the tree . . . with the scientific method, some hypothesizing, a few experiments and the heady conclusion that trees need sunlight to live! But while Esther manages to save the tree, she can't quite change the minds of her misguided fairymates... or can she?

Fairy Science, the first in a hilarious new picture book series, introduces a charming, determined heroine as she learns about the world and celebrates the joys of curiosity and exploring science.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This super-cute book teaches kids about the scientific method in an easy-to-understand way. There's even a little experiment in the back for budding scientists to try.

Esther is a fairy, and as everyone knows, fairies are all about the magic. Except... Esther's not. While her fairy friends think everything can be explained away with magic, Esther knows that science is what underlies the wonders of our world. But when even the fairy school system teaches magic over science, scientists like Esther are in for an uphill battle. It isn't until she saves a tree by using the scientific method that she piques the curiosity of some of the other fairies.

You can definitely see the parallels between Esther's world and our own. The science versus religion battle is there, but it's not overpowering (and nobody gets excommunicated for their belief in science)! Esther simply continues with her observations and research, and when other fairies show an interest in what she's doing, she helps them learn more.

The illustrations are absolutely adorable, which I've come to expect from Spires. Even though this is a book about fairies for kids, its aesthetic isn't cloyingly sweet. There's still a lot of white space on the pages, which makes the whole book look clean and tidy like a spick-and-span laboratory.

The synopsis recommends this to fans of books like Ada Twist, Scientist, but I think it actually has more in common with Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, which also delves into the scientific method in an easy-to-understand way.

Thank you to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing a digital ARC.

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

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall: 4.67 out of 5

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