Whether they are fascinated by the human body, outer space, natural history or science, make sure you get the right book for the job so that you can both enjoy the downtime, and learn from it…
- Animalium by Katie Scott & Jenny Broom
If you buy this book for the illustrations alone, you won’t be disappointed with the educational aspect. Presented as a museum archive, the 160 animal specimens featured are technically exact, beautifully portrayed and absolutely fascinating. One to keep forever, this book will be iconic.
- The Flying Machine Kit by Nick Arnold, Illustrated by Brendan Kearney
Not only will young children learn the technicalities of how things fly – what keeps them in the air, how they take off and land and the science and engineering behind it all – they can also then make five planes. The book contains pull-out pages and a box containing balsa wood body parts, printed neoprene wings, propellers, wheels and elastic. Nothing like putting learning into practice.
- Eureka! The Most Amazing Scientific Discoveries of All Time by Dr Mike Goldsmith
If ever a text could make science come to life it’s this. From Galileo to Alexander Fleming, the tales of derring-do that accompany the science make everything far more memorable than the facts alone, and the witty illustrations and asides mean that this will appeal to older children and last the distance.
- My Animal Book: Facts and Fun Questions and Answers Things to Make and Do by OKIDO
A quirky and original approach to teaching children about animals and our relationship with them. Encouraging children to think about the needs of animals, their homes, diets and families, in order to make comparisons with us, this is thought-provoking and fun and comes with games, recipes and crafts to expand upon the learning.
- Children’s Dinosaur and Prehistorical Animal Encyclopaedia by Dr Douglas Palmer
Natural history geeks won’t find a better compendium than this new encyclopedia of dinosaurs: a comprehensive book packed with superb illustrations and no-holes-barred bared teeth and gore to boot. If they already know their Triassic from their Jurassic, don’t settle for less detail than this.
- Infographics: Human Body by Peter Grundy
What would a human look like if all our features grew at the same rate? What happens in the blink of an eye? These questions and many more are answered in this beautiful and playful book which is easy to absorb in small doses.
- This is Britain by Miroslav Sasek
Sasek’s playful narrative voice runs throughout the tales of history, uncovering facts about the monuments and mysteries of Britain. First published in 1974, the facts have been updated while the iconic illustrations are true to the original.
- Professor Astro Cat’s Frontiers of Space by Dr. Dominic Walliman, illustrated by Ben Newman
Young stargazers will be well met with this adorable entry into the wonders of the universe: from what gravity actually does to whether extraterrestrial life is likely. Written by a Dr of Quantum Device Physics, this is not dumbed down but explained in an engaging and fun way.
- Almost Everything by Joelle Jolivet
Even though this book was published in 2005 the encyclopaedic style and stunning design mean that it endures. Print block graphics and punchy facts, it is arranged into categories: transport, buildings, costumes, and delivers easily digestible facts.