Sunday, June 7, 2015
Book Review: Greg's Microscope by Millicent Selsam, illustrated by Arnold Lobel (1963)
Because of continual scientific advances, not all science books can stand the test of time. This one, however, seems like it is still a decent introduction to microscopes for the early elementary audience. Lobel adds much to the book with his sketches of each item Greg views under the microscope, which give kids who don't have access to expensive scientific tools the opportunity to learn what each of these things looks like when magnified. Because of the level of detail in the illustrations, the book also makes a perfect companion to a classroom lesson or library program where kids look into the microscope and record what they see. Reading the book as a group and repeating Greg's actions seems like the ideal STEM activity.
Only one minor detail in this book bothered me. Greg's mother is portrayed as almost unbelievably clueless. She acts as though she has never heard the word "cell" before and just generally seems like she has no idea about the world outside of her home. While this is probably meant to empower the child reader - "Hey, I'm smarter than the grownups!" - it did make me roll my eyes, and it kept me from giving the book five stars. It won't, however, prevent me from adding it to my homeschool stash for when Miss Muffet is older.