Once upon an Atom: Questions of Science

Once upon an Atom: Questions of Science briskly walks the reader through the fields of chemistry, physics and biology and, finally, what it is to be a scientist. Carter’s rhyming text in this lively picturebook demonstrates a clear passion for all things science. It gives a nice introduction to each field of natural science including examples from each.

However, it stops at the ‘what’ and doesn’t explore the ‘how’ or ‘why’. And while addressing these questions would certainly make the text more complex, it might help the reader to become more invested in a particular field before moving on to the next one quite so swiftly. The level of language is suitable for an older picturebook reader, so an increase in word count could be justified. As it is, however, the text gives a simple introduction to the natural sciences and oozes with positivity and enthusiasm. Santiago’s illustrations are stunning. His use of colour and texture perfectly capture the wonder and beauty of the natural world. And while the flow of the illustrations from one page to the next doesn’t tell a story, each double-page spread would, independently, make a wonderful addition in poster form to the wall of a primary school classroom or science lab. This book would make a very good starting point to explore each of the scientific fields in more detail.

Book Cover - Once upon an Atom: Questions of Science.
Publication Date
April 2020
Age range