cover image Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small

Jess Wade, illus. by Melissa Castrillón. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1766-7

“Everything is made out of something,” British physicist Wade’s picture book debut notes on the first page, instigating an exploration of the world’s building blocks. A conversational narrative moves swiftly from macroscopic materials including wood and glass to microscopic atoms and nanomaterials, while finely hatched illustrations by Castrillón (The Balcony) sweep readers into this nanoscience primer. A child in a skirt and yellow boots playfully interacts with each spread, sometimes shrunken and perched on a single atom or microscope stage, observing, other times presenting a simple graphic. More fanciful touches, such as the child’s blue hair or an elephant walking a tightrope of graphene (“the strongest material known to human beings”), cultivate a playful tone. Organic, and often lush botanic, motifs rendered in pencil, in a muted primary color palette, link the spreads, turning adding a layer of enticement to this accessible read. After discussing a few hopeful applications for nanomaterials—for example, a nano chip that could help restore eyesight—and giving a nod to ongoing global collaboration, this homage to the “very (very) small” concludes with more details about the who, how, and why of nanomaterials and a brief index. Ages 6–9. (Sept.)