Simon, Seymour. Water. 2017. New York. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN-13: 9780062470546
Simon, Seymour. Penguins. 2007. New York. HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN-13: 9780060283964
Simon, Seymour. Muscles. 1998. New York. Murrow Junior Books. ISBN-13: 978068814629
About the Author:
Author Seymour Simon is considered the Dean of Children’s Science. He has written over 300 books on the subject and was a classroom science teacher for 25 years. He writes: “My experience as a teacher gives me the ability to understand how to reach my young readers and get them interested in the world around us.” He approaches each topic with a child’s eye and summarizes information for younger readers to simply grasp. He “leaves the door open” and asks questions with each subject so readers will be curious and excited about learning.
With extraordinary photographs, he considers his books photo-essays. He chooses photos which magnify and develop the text and explores other ways to engage with nonfiction and art. At the end of each book, he provides a glossary to help enrich the reader’s learning experience.
Seymour quotes William Blake as he describes how he wants his readers “to see a world in a grain of sand, / And a heaven in a world flower, / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, / And eternity in an hour.”
Simon’s newest book Water explores the complexities of our most important substance. Though he says this was his hardest subject to write about, he does a brilliant job explaining basic science terms in ways which young readers can comprehend. For example, after reading Water, young readers will be more familiar with terms such as “atoms, hydrogen, vapor, pH, solvent, evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, runoff, and oxygen.”
With descriptive details and numbers, he describes how important water is to the human body and provides several fun facts, such as “a glass of water you drink today might contain molecules of water that a dinosaur drank millions of years ago.”
Simon pushes the importance of this precious resource for all living people and things on Earth. He mentions the polluted water of Flint, Michigan and how we all need water that is not harmful.
After reading this short children’s book, readers become extremely familiarized and fascinated with the importance water, how it is a “part of our history and part of our existence.”
In Simon’s book Penguins, readers learn all about the exciting and mysterious bird. He clarifies the misconception that penguins are fish by explaining the details of different penguins.
Though they are champion swimmers and divers, they are in fact birds that lay and raise their chicks on land. They spend time at sea and spend three quarters of their lives underwater, often swallowing food underwater and drain out the salt water with a special gland.
He provides plenty of fun facts, interesting annotations, and beautiful photos.
The final pages of each book often talk about the struggles the subject faces in today’s world. This leaves the door open for the curious reader to explore and learn more on their own.
For example, Simon describes the strife penguins face and how they work to survive. By learning about this, the reader can begin to recognize how to help them and other endangered sea animals in our wavering world.
In Simon’s book Muscles, the last few pages talk about injured muscles, surgery, CAT scans, imaging techniques, and how to take care of the muscles in your body. He stresses the importance of muscles to the body and how to keep our bodies moving and awake.
Books available at the Grace Mellman Library:
Water, The Brain, Spiders, Muscles, Bones, Penguins, Earth, Wildfires, Lightning, Hurricanes, Global Warming, Horses, Our Solar System, Big Cats, The Moon, Insects, Tornadoes