Today is STEM Friday and is hosted over at… STEM Friday. I don’t think it is ever really too early to start talking with your children about science, technology, engineering, or math. I especially want to impress upon my son that people who make important discoveries, observations, and contributions to the field of STEM are just that: people. He’s a person and just as capable of making discoveries and observations about our world as they were. So my contribution to this week’s STEM Friday is my experience reading The Humblebee Hunter, a story about Charles Darwin and his family.
The Short: This book is about and was inspired by Charles Darwin and his children’s life and the experiments and observations they performed together. I’m really impressed with this book. It is a different take on Charles Darwin and really bring Darwin back down to Earth as a person who was curious about life. I think my son is a bit young to really appreciate this book, but he will dutifully sit with me as I read it to him. Even though it seems a bit over his head, he appears engrossed while we read and he especially likes the counting at the end of the book. This book has been the basis of our discussions about bees — which we talk about a lot.
The Long: This is a story about Charles Darwin told from the perspective of his daughter, Henrietta. Henrietta talks about the experiments that she and her siblings did with their father. She tells of how they collected insects, measured worm holes by sticking knitting needles into the ground, and putting seeds into salt water to see if they might grow. They also counted snakes, gathered moths and the book ends with the children trying to count how many flowers a humblebee visits in a minute.
I think it is a great introduction into Charles Darwin and doing experiments. It is a very romantic book about a family working together and discovering the natural world. It is very elegantly illustrated. Each page is a work of art.
This books is nicely written and I didn’t feel the need to edit or change anything while reading this book to my two year old son.
I highly recommend this book. I think my son likes this book now, but I’m sure he’ll really enjoy it later on. I can’t wait to see what kinds of conversations it will inspire between us. Maybe we’ll even try and count how many flowers a bee visits in a minute.
I checked on Amazon and it doesn’t look like there are a lot of these books left — which is a shame. It’s a great book and I hope more and more people are able to read it.
Where Obtained: Library.
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