Something a little different tonight, if you don’t mind (and it’s my blog, so I’m doing it anyway whether you mind or not): I need to make sure you’re aware of a certain children’s book I just read to my son. I was considering making this part of my Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews series, but decided not to.
So here’s the deal: if you have kids under, say, 12 or so, or if you teach science to any kids of any age, or really if you teach at all, you need to acquire a copy of Ada Twist, Scientist and make reading it out loud to said children a part of your mission in life for the near future. Educators will already be aware of this: it’s occasionally a great idea to read out loud to kids, regardless of their age, and it’s also occasionally a good idea to read what are ostensibly children’s books to kids who are on paper too old to be reading those books. You should all find your kids and then find this book (in that order, preferably) and then read it to them.
Here’s why: Ada Twist, Scientist does a great idea of breaking down how science works and how the scientific process works and how scientists think in 32 pages of simple, rhyming prose. The fact that the titular scientist is a young black woman is just icing on the cake. Representation is important, and young women of any race need to see themselves as scientists. So do black children of either gender. And my white male son needs to see scientists who don’t look like him. Plus, again: it taught my five-year-old the word hypothesis. Which he’ll be using in sentences by the end of the week.
Go check it out.