Better late than never I guess. I missed the NY Times Children’s Books section in teh 5/10 Book Review but my mother brought it with her and left it so I am posting a tiny bit about it.
- Two books on Darwin. See “Darwin’s Prenup” by Bruce Barcott in which he reviews Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith and Animals Charles Darwin Saw (Explorers (Chronicle Books)) Both sound good.
- Three books on the oceans and Jacques-Yves Cousteau. See “Undersea Pioneer” by Lawrence Downes who reviews Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau (which my kids love), The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Cousteau and Down, Down, Down: A Journey to the Bottom of the Sea all of which also sound good.
OMG. I just got my copy of “Pat Schrödinger’s Kitty” by Tiffany Ard. I only found out about this kid’s science book because the author (at least, I think it was the author) linked to a posting of mine from her “electric boogaloo” blog (in a post about April Fools). And from there I read about how she was invited to Scifoo this year (Damn her — why can’t I get invited again) and how it was a really good day because someone wrote a post about her kids science book. So, since I am a total geek and love reading sciency things to my kids I took a look. And it looked pretty good so I ordered one for me and one to give to my geeky brother.
As I assume many people know, Steve Irwin (aka the Crocodile Hunter) died today. He has been lauded as an environmentalist, which he clearly was. However, he should also be praised as one of the more effective science educators of the last 20 years.
In this day and age, most of the TV shows are either 24 hour news, or some bizarre new reality show, or some crime drama. But Irwin managed to be successful with what could be called a animal-encounters reality show. Except that unlike some other such shows (e.g., “When Animals Attack“) his shows tended to be rich in moral lessons and education for the public about biology, life and animal behavior. We desperately need such little openings into the general public for education about science. Whether you liked his shows or not, whether you agreed with his methods for apporaching and protecting mean looking animals, I think everyone should say thanks today for Irwin’s dedication to educating the public about life on this planet.