This a fantastic book about a girl called Gedanken and her Uncle Albert, who is a scientist. Gedanken takes a trip into her uncle's mysterious thought bubble and discovers heaps of things in the strange enlarged world. This is a fun journey through the world of atoms, molecules, electrons and quarks.
This book is really good as it teaches you science in a fun way.you dont realize how much you have leant from it untill you get to the back of the book where there is a quiz and you can test yourself.It is all about what the smallest piece of something is and what that smallest piece is made of.Russel Stanerd has also woven Lewis Carrol's stories in so it helps if you have already read Alice in Wonderland as charactures and props from the book are used throughout the book.This is a fantastic book that will make you both think deeply and laugh out loud at the same time.
This book is not only an entertaining yet informative book; it expands ones mind and allows children to address questions that they would not be able to think about until they are at high school. The use of fantasy, conversation, illustrations, humour, someone to identify to and written from a childs point of view makes this book a great treasure. It deals with many of childrens misconceptions yet it educates the children. This book is fun, yet informative...can a story be informative...yes! A must buy!!
I love the Uncle Albert books. Not only are they an entertaining read but they introduce the reader to some of the most fundamental yet counter-intuitive principles of our Universe. My daughter first read these when she was 10. In her words they are 'amazing' and 'really make you think'. As a physics educator myself I'd love to see all young people reading them. The concepts are not covered until at least age 17 in UK school curricula which I think is a great pity since young people are naturally full of wonder about the world around them and deserve to have their eyes opened to these important ideas. Forget fictional stories of magic. The real world is far more wonderful and seemingly 'magical' than most fiction writers have imagined.
This is not the first Russell Stannard I have purchased for my grand-children (three and one - so starting the library early) and that is a recommendation in itself. I have no doubt whatsoever that the world in which they grow up will continue to expand exponentially in so many different ways, as it has in my life-time; as an English graduate with an extensive library, a long-standing computer user and now an avid iPad user, I have grown used to and now enjoy reading books, newspapers and PDFs from screens. Information Technology and its cousins are just amazing, thank you, the late, great Steve Jobs. However, I continue to stock the grand-children's libraries, mostly with hardbacks, in the belief that books will continue in some shape or form to be a staple diet.
Gedanken and her scientist uncle, Albert, are the characters Stannard uses to take his readers on a journey into the world of quantum physics, a fun journey through the world of atoms, molecules, electrons and quarks. He knows the power of enjoyable stories to take our minds for a walk and he populates the journey with resonant characters with whom children can relate. Along the way, if they learn a little about physics, chemistry or biology, well, that's fun too.
It does not make quantum physics any easier or less confusing for mere mortals but it does slip concepts into the minds, provide vocabularies to use and moments to remember, in addition to simply putting books into hands. "Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel" Socrates (470BC-399BC), who knew too well how to educate the youth.
A much mis-quoted and over-used Chinese quotation is "Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand."; although I do not entirely subscribe to this, it is the essence of what Stannard succeeds in doing surreptitiously with his series of books.
This story presents the early development of quantum theory through the thought experiments of Albert Einstein and introduces some of the other important players and their ideas. All of this is done in a way that children of 11 and over can follow, but even adults will enjoy.