Have you ever watched a child stoop down to examine something tiny? They can be held spellbound by a rock, an ant, or a seashell. Today’s book is one that takes fascination further and opens up a world of wonder.
SMALL MATTERS: The Hidden Power of the Unseen
By Heather Ferranti Kinser
Millbrook Press 2020
Picture book for ages 4-9
Setting: the natural world seen through a scanning electron microscope
The story begins…In a big world filled with many BIG
questions, we look for BIG answers.
But what if an answer is smaller than small?
Could something that small
even matter at all?
Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen, features eleven kid-favorite animals and gives a unique detailed view of each. Written with lyrical and poetic text, the author explains how small adaptations equip animals to do specialized things. Photographs taken with a scanning electron microscope give an amazing look into how much tiny details matter. We learn how the tiny jagged scales of a shark enables its speed, hooks and grooves in bird feathers help them to fly, and tiny bristle hairs on the toe pads of geckos enable them to cling to surfaces with incredible force. This is a powerful book that asks important questions, introduces fascinating scientific concepts, and encourages children to really look and see how things work.
Why Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen should be added to your bookshelf:
- It is rare to find a science book that works well as a read-aloud. Originally written as a fifty-word poem, the language explains complex concepts in a clear and original way.
- The layout of each spread is beautiful as well as instructive. A large photograph of each animal in action is balanced by the photograph taken through the scanning electron microscope. It is amazing to see scientific facts written in such a child-centered way.
- The typography is fun and engaging and visually enhances the importance of each small feature.
- The back-matter explains how the scanning electron microscope works and gives a clear definition of nanoscale. Also included is more information about each animal’s “tiny super-power,” and a selected reading list for further exploration.
- This book will spark a children’s curiosity, encourage them to really look at the natural world, and understand how tiny details make a big difference.
Author Heather Ferranti Kinser wrote a postcard to the readers of Small Matters: The Hidden Power of the Unseen:
A great way to encourage budding scientist is to give them an magnifying glass. Although not as detailed as a scanning electron microscope, it will provide an entry onto scientific exploration.
To learn more, visit Heather Ferranti Kinser’s website