Horrible Science Nick Arnold

Happy Smiles SCIENCE.
Surprised Sharky 2 What happened to your ‘imagine’ intro?
Happy Smiles Imagine SCIENCE.
Default Sharky … well. I asked. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, these books are about science.
Shocked Smiles Don’t run away! I can see some of you leaving!  I know, I know, school subjects have a bad reputation. Geography, history, science, math. And you know why? Because they’re boring! … well they’re not boring. But the way they’re taught can be boring. And what you have to learn can be REALLY boring.
Sassy Sharky Smiles was the kid at the back of the class trying to stay awake.
Default Smiles Point is, science can be pretty cool. Haven’t you ever read or watched something awesome about sharks or comets or something like that? That’s all science! Sure I’d fall asleep in school, but at home I ate up facts like ‘fish in the deepest part of the ocean glow in the dark’, or ‘there’s a snake that can spit poison at you’.
Happy Sharky2 All the useless facts.
Angry Smiles 2 They’re not use- well yeah maybe. But they’re COOL. Deny that they’re cool! Deny it!
Confused Sharky I… don’t?
Default Smiles HA. So what was I saying? Right, these books are all about that cool part of science, facts you’d run to tell your friends starting ‘Did you KNOW?’ The cool, the weird, the gross, the sometimes very creepy.
Sassy Sharky The premise is pretty simple, and they don’t exactly have a plot, so there’s not a whole lot to say about the books beyond that, which is why Smiles is spending most of the review yelling ‘science’ over and over again.
Happy Smiles SCIENCE.
Happy Sharky2 There’s plenty of books in the series. That’s because each book focuses on one topic. Like bugs or poisons or space. That’s great because you can just pick up the ones you’re interested in. Downside is, if they haven’t made a book on what you’re interested in, you’re out of luck. But they’re pretty short and entertaining, so if you like one, you’ll probably want the others. Each of them’s a little introduction to the topic and a bagful of interesting facts. With pictures.
Happy Smiles Cartoons! That’s my favourite part. Sure I love interesting facts but you could just go to the internet for that. It’s the way it’s all put together that really sells them. I love visuals. I used to doodle on my science notes to understand them better, and it’s the same principle at work here. There are little comic strips, and characters who write reports about things, or silly situations where old scientists are brought back to life and interviewed, or we get to read their journals… well, fake versions of their journals with real science facts. It makes everything really lively! Visual and conversational. ‘And what is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?’ Ehhhhh?
Confused Sharky … did… you just work a quote from one of the previous books into the review?
Default Smiles It just came to me! Maybe I should do that every now and again?
Default Sharky That’s fine if you don’t wiggle your eyebrows at me and go ‘eeeeeeh?’ to make sure I got it. Ever again. Oh. Two things though. The visual style of the cartoons really isn’t for everyone, and since they’re a big part of the package, maybe look up some pictures and see if they’re your thing before picking up any of the books.
Surprised Smiles That’s actually a good point. And since they’re pretty small books, the content’s limited to what the author thought should be in there, and hey, maybe your idea of fun facts is different from what they put in. But again, it’s all about the presentation, and chances are you’ll find out something cool you want to learn more about, and then you can tackle exploring it on the internet or in encyclopaedias or bothering your clever friends or… however you find stuff out. Wait. Sharky had a second point.
Default Sharky Gee thanks. But yeah, second point of warning, fun as these books are, if you don’t like puns, if you REALLY don’t like puns, these books aren’t really for you. Intensity varies from book to book but never truly goes away.
Happy Smiles There are SO MANY PUNS. These books are colourful and bright and loud and full of facts about SCIENCE and PUNS and they’re like… if I was a book. The book version of me.
Sassy Sharky And that’s terrifying.


4 thoughts on “Horrible Science Nick Arnold

  1. Certainly a great way to introduce science, maths, geography, history etc. to the child who normally shies away from them. Informative and entertaining at the same time (infotaining?). The danger is, of course, that on encountering the same subject in a class the student might think “What? That’s HORRIBLE!”.
    Great review.

      1. Actually it’s the traditional way of teaching and books which encourages “ratta” rather than understanding and involvement.
        I know of a teacher who is trying to get her students interested and involved by using role play and playacting and such methods to get the students hooked on the subject (HORRIBLE English Literature?). Teaching WELL is not easy.

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