“Those books bring back lots of memories”, said the man in his late 80’s, as he looked over at me. He saw the title, Quantum Physics and proceeded to tell me how he graduated from Georgia Tech and used physics in his daily work before he retired. I politely told him that this was a physics book, but its title is Quantum Physics for Babies. In his defense, he was sitting about eight feet away from me and the “for babies” part of the title is in smaller font.
The older gentleman was intrigued. I explained to his that this is a board book that is intended for children. Their pages are durable, thick card board; the illustrations are simple and such that young children will enjoy looking at them, without being over-stimulated. He flipped through the book and commented that he didn’t have much feeling left in his fingers and that the thick pages allowed him to turn the pages easily. Likewise, the larger than average font size let him read the text without reaching for his glasses that were on the table.
*For the record, this book is great for children 1 and up for the same reasons.
Quantum Physics for Babies is by Chris Ferrie and is one of a series of science board books aimed at the very young. General Relativity for Babies, Rocket Science for Babies and Newtonian Physics for Babies are all by Ferrie too and break the complex down to the very simple.
As a parent, you don’t need to know any of these concept or sciences to be able to read these books to your small children. It’s simple text, with big words and illustrations. All the reader has to do is have a small person who wants a book read to them and you’re shaping young minds.
For example, in Rocket Science we see a ball moving. We see that air can’t pass through the ball, but goes around it and that if you change the shape of the object the air flow will likewise change. Then the basic concept of lift is introduced. We learn that a ball has no life, but a wing (which is changed shape object) does have lift. Put the wing on a rocket, provide some force and young readers see an example of thrust.
I heard Billy Joel tell a story once about how to have a child master the art of playing the piano. He said, “put a toy piano in their crib from the first day”. I’m paraphrasing somewhat, but the concept of early introduction is the same and these books are just what kids need to get them immersed into complex subjects from a very early age.
It feels like a gimmick doesn’t it? Parents shouldn’t push kids into any field. However, children have the capacity to be so much smarter than we allow them to be. Part of that is due to schedules, priorities and habits; but these books prove that these complex STEM topics can be broken down into a manner that any age can understand.