Price: Rs 40
About the book:
Scholastic has been the hallmark of quality fiction for many years. Now, the publishing house is also trying its hands at an educational series. My First Book of Science is one such attempt by Scholastic. The series, complied by Biman Basu, is aimed at simplifying science, scientific terms and tools for the toddlers. But despite his best attempt, Basu's efforts haven't paid up.
The book has 12 pages. A list of contents, which otherwise is a part of any book's skeleton, is missing from this one. The book starts abruptly. The cover page is immediately followed by chapters - an abrupt beginning for a subject like science. A small introduction to the scientific tools would have really helped. Also, the book aims to explain scientific tools but doesn't mention the definition of science anywhere. It is quite expected of a kid to know such definitions. This is just an example of some of the drawbacks of the book.
The content presentation has many problems too. The author has concentrated only on the pictures and completely ignored the text. A full page is dedicated to the picture of a funnel and a small line at the bottom of the page reads "This is a funnel". The adjoining page shows three kids pouring liquid using the funnel but this page too suffers from the same flaw. The picture of these kids is followed by a line saying "We use it for pouring". The author could perhpas conveyed the use of the object more imaginatively keeping in mind the age group concerned. His text just repeats the message delivered by the picture.
Basu explains one of the pictures as, 'we use pencils to note down observations'. "Observations" is quite a heavy word to use in a book meant for kids.
After many such 'explanations', Basu ends the book by explaining each of these tools (lens, funnel, tweezers) in brief. In the end he asks questions like - "what is the lead of a pencil made of," and "how does the magnifying glass make things appear big?" A class four or five student can be expected to answer these questions but not beginner who is the reader, the target audience of this book. And Basu doesn't answer any of these questions anywhere in the book, neither does he offer any help to the kids.
Also, the book doesn't mention its target age group. Since this book is a sort of reference or self-help book, it would have been quite helpful to specify its target age group.