Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Questioneers Picture Books

Ada Twist, Scientist

Rate this book
Scientist Ada has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

32 pages, Hardcover

First published September 6, 2016

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Andrea Beaty

94 books525 followers
For more information, visit my website (www.AndreaBeaty.com).

Also, visit www.Questioneers.com for posters, activities, educator resources, and other information about the Questioneer books.

Further, check out Story Time From Space to see Ada Twist and Rosie Revere read at the International Space Station by astronauts! It’s out of this world.


Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
4,835 (61%)
4 stars
2,243 (28%)
3 stars
576 (7%)
2 stars
105 (1%)
1 star
43 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,080 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,861 followers
March 2, 2017
"Why does it tick and why does it tock?"
"Why don't we call it a grandDAUGHTER clock?"
"Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose?"
"Why are there hairs up inside of your nose?"

She started with Why? and then What? How? and When?
By bedtime she came back to Why? once again.
She drifted to sleep as her dazed parents smiled
at the curious thoughts of their curious child,
who wanted to know what the world was about.
They kissed her and whispered, "You'll figure it out."

This is the third STEM book by Andrea Beaty, a great explosion onto the scene of children's literature. Her books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect have slammed home some scientific career dreams for children. Now we have Ada Marie Twist, scientist.

It's easy and common to write books about ballerinas, firefighters, police officers, race car drivers, teachers, and doctors / nurses. It's harder to get children dreaming about being reverse engineers, architects, and scientists. These professions just don't get much play. Kudos to Beaty.


- Black girl and black family are MCs.

- Black girl wants to be a scientist.

- Excellent illustrations. Ridiculously good. You can see so much if you examine the pictures.

For example, in one picture, Ada and her family are discussing the solar system. Among the usual suspects (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter) there are some lesser-known bodies that you and the children can discuss: Ceres, Eris, Haumea, Makemake.

In a scene where Ada Marie is experimenting with perfume, a perfume-lover will recognize some bottles - the classic Byredo bottles, the famous Katy Perry cat-shaped bottles, etc.

In a later scene we see a book on Ada Lovelace on the floor, we see a baby doll head floating in brine, we see blocks that - instead of having the ABCs - have elements printed on them like Au and Zn.

- The book ends with a note from the author that most people will miss:

Women have been scientists for as long as there has been science. They've asked questions and looked for answers to the secrets of the universe. Of soil and stars. Stalactites and seahorses. Glaciers and gravity. Brains and black holes. Of everything.

Ada Marie Twist is named for two of the many women whose curiosity and passion led them to make great discoveries. Marie Curie discovered the elements polonium and radium, and her work led to the invention of X-rays. Ada Lovelace was a mathematician and the very first computer programmer.


- The book is about stinky things and Ada Marie Twist researching smells. I just don't like this very much. Dead fish and dirty sneakers and stuff. It's just not to my taste. Gross. Someone should teach the kid about bacteria, maybe then she will move on to a different subject.

Tl;dr - Beaty has sprung up with these amazing picture books that help interest kids in STEM careers in a fun way. Not preachy, not pushy, just a fun way to introduce kids to STEM jobs. Fun, rhyming, and with great illustrations! Even though this verges a little on gross for me (although no bathroom humor), the spirit of it and the illustrations are tops. I would recommend to anyone. Feminist, smart, and featuring a black girl yearning to become a top scientist - you don't find this just anywhere.

Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.3k followers
November 28, 2016
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and each of their comments. There's 20 and this is the LAST being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally. This one actually is in the finals, and we are glad it is, as one of our best rated for the year.

Ada Marie! Ada Marie!
Said not a word till the day she was three.

This is a rhyming book, right. Ada's first word was "why?" and thereupon [who uses the stuffy word "thereupon" anymore?! Apparently me!] began to use other words like what and where and so on. This is a book about inquiry for kids, and the required dispositions that one needs to be a scientist, primarily curiosity and the need to keep asking questions. It's part of an admirable series Beaty is doing to get kids into STEM fields, such as Rosie Revere, Engineer, and Iggy Peck, Architect.

How does a nose know there's something to smell?
And does it still stink if there's no nose to tell?

I liked it a lot, one of the best of the 20 this year. Longer picture book, well illustrated, African American family and their girl scientist, who is also pretty intense, as in "hyper-active". My family liked it a lot.

The importance of parents following a kid's lead, urging them to follow their passion and supporting them along the way, is key:

Her parents kept up with their high flying kid
Whose questions and chaos both grew as she did

Tara (my wife): 4 1/2 stars. Fun rhymes. I like the family.
Harry (11): 5 stars. I like how she writes on the wall all these questions and random things.
Hank (10): 4 stars.
Lyra (9): 4 stars. I like how she's so creative and that she is a young scientist [said by the girl in the family who is as good at math as she is at art]
Profile Image for Olivia-Savannah .
717 reviews479 followers
January 16, 2020
Fantastic. I needed this as a child and if there any mini-Olivia-Savannah's in the futures I know what they need to read.


- We have a brown girl scientist and I am so so so here for it. More like this please!
- Loved the illustrations. Brown family, brown hair, the way that blank space is sometimes used, and sometimes the whole pages is filled. It captured the boy I was reading with and me too, admittedly.
- I am so here for seeing parents in books who want the best for their child, care for them, and even realise they may need to change something about their environment, or the way they are living, to support and encourage their child. That's the kind of parenting I love to see in my picture books and middle grade books! And in real life, of course ;)
- Loved seeing the curiosity and education encouraged, and not brushed under the rug or ignored. But nutured!
- The rhyme reading made it easier for him to understand and was very smooth reading.

All in all, I loved reading this one just as much as the child did!
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,126 reviews104 followers
May 12, 2020
Maybe I am truly being just a bit (and perhaps even much more than a bit) too curmudgeonly here, but honestly, why should Andrea Beaty point out in her Ada Twist, Scientist that young Ada asks questions (and attempts scientific experiments) not simply because she is intelligent, not because she is curious and desires to find out the required information and knowledge she lacks and wants to know, but seemingly only and solely because she is somehow and supposedly meant to be a scientist?

For yes indeed, it is obviously and in reality NOT just children who as toddlers, who at a young age pepper their parents with question after question about their surroundings, about their world (and who try to discover things about their world through testing boundaries, through experimentation and imagination), who will grow up to be scientists. And for Andrea Beaty in the presented verses of Ada Twist, Scientist to repeatedly point out that, well, only scientifically inclined youngsters would actually and in fact be asking questions (would somehow be intelligent and curious enough to be posing the necessary queries and get actively enough involved in their world), that is in my humble opinion both insulting and totally majorly denigrating to and for those of us who are NOT scientists, who have other but yes indeed equally important and necessary interests (and of course careers).

And most certainly, as someone with a PhD in German literature, who indeed also asked her parents very many intelligent and curious questions as a toddler, I actually have found Ada Twist, Scientist rather majorly problematic at best and indeed quite disgustingly with a tendency to be massively offensive to and for children who might not be all that interested in the sciences, whose interests and likes perhaps do happen to lie like mine did (and do) in the humanities, in the social sciences, in the arts etc.

Because even though the author has likely not in any manner intended for this, in Ada Twist, Scientists, it sure does (personally) feel as though Andrea Beaty somehow wants to single out the sciences as somehow being more special and more important. And as such, even though Ada Twist, Scientist is definitely textually fun and encouraging and that David Roberts' accompanying artwork does indeed present a visually engaging aesthetic mirror to and for Andrea Beaty's printed and featured words, I for one have truly and really found Ada Twist, Scientist at best uncomfortable on a personal level, and yes indeed, I also do consider Ada Twist, Scientist (and by extension author Andrea Beaty) as rather obviously and deliberately putting some careers and interests on a pedestal and above certain others, being judgmental towards children whose interests and strengths might not be all that science and math oriented.

Thus and as someone with a career in the humanities, I definitely will call this out as being rather if not even majorly inappropriate, and especially so in a picture book geared towards young children (not to mention that the lax acceptance of Ada's parents with regard to their daughter's occasional but heavy destructiveness as she is trying to do her experiments and the like is also rather troubling, as while it is of course important for parents to encourage their children's creativity and thirst for knowledge, the free-for-all portrayed by Andrea Beaty as being so inherently positive in Ada Twist, Scientist definitely makes me personally cringe and consider Ada's parents as just a wee bit too permissive).
Profile Image for Ijeoma.
58 reviews40 followers
June 21, 2017
A great book that I read with my daughter. I love how Ada's parents are very supportive of her creativity and understand the need to be patient and encourage. I purchased this book for my daughter because she likes to experiment, question and explore everything around her. The added perk, my daughter's name is also Ada.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,249 reviews
June 30, 2017
I loved Ada Twist, Scientist and my four-year-old son enjoyed it, too. We are big Iggy Peck, Architect fans here and my son shares characteristics of both Iggy (loves to build) and Ada (loves to ask questions and find out "why?" and "how?") I appreciated many nuances he is too little to understand, such as the book about her namesake (Ada Lovelace) on the floor, and the real source of that mysterious stink! ;-) I also appreciated how Ada's family found ways to channel her curiosity and interests into ways that were not harmful and ended up being encouraging. Nice to see even her brother getting involved. It was also fun to see Iggy and Miss Greer again and I'm hoping we will have more books about other class members to come. (In addition to Rosie Revere, Engineer.)
Profile Image for Liza Fireman.
839 reviews144 followers
December 31, 2016
I am happy about this book overall. Ada twist is a curios young toddler, that is constantly questioning, wondering and learning about the world around her. A book about a girl with scientific affiliation (and a black one too if you check out the illustrations) is more of what we need for our young ones.

“Why does it tick and why does it tock?”
“Why don’t we call it a granddaughter clock?”
“Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose?”
“Why are there hairs up inside of your nose?”
She started with Why? and then What? How? and When?
By bedtime she came back to Why? once again.

She is making a mess, she is interested in EVERYTHING, she is experimenting.
But this much was clear about Miss Ada Twist:
She had all the traits of a great scientist.

Really cute, and empowering. (Unlike the disaster computer engineer book of Barbie. I Can Be an Actress/I Can Be a Computer Engineer. And if you haven't encountered the sexism of this book you should check out this link: buzzfeed or this one: gizmodo.
Ada gets almost 4 stars. Overall cute rhymes, and in the right direction.
Profile Image for Agnė.
753 reviews57 followers
February 6, 2017
Funny, inspiring and beautifully illustrated:

I love the humor, rhymes and Ada's parents' efforts to accommodate and to encourage their hyperactive and extremely curious daughter's interests and talents:

They watched their young daughter and sighed as they did.
What would they do with this curious kid,
who wanted to know what the world was about?
They smiled and whispered, "We'll figure it out."

And that's what they did -- because that's what you do
when your kid has a passion and heart that is true.
They remade their world -- now they're all in the act
of helping young Ada sort fiction from fact.
Profile Image for Sara Grochowski.
1,142 reviews567 followers
September 11, 2016
Ada Twist is such a smart, curious, determined character - I adore her! A scientist from the start, Ada is constantly wondering about and questioning the world around her. Who? What? Why? Where? When? Her sense of wonder is infectious. A fantastic addition to Beaty & Roberts' growing series.
Profile Image for Jakub.
235 reviews
March 18, 2018
Story about curiosity and how important it is to allow children to be curious. That no matter who you are - girl or a boy, you can be curious about everything. When you curious you ask questions and try to get into why something is what it is. And you should be allowed to ask as many questions you like, and parents and teachers should help you or guide you to find answers.
Profile Image for Barb.
109 reviews3 followers
October 4, 2016
I bought this book to share with my soon to be 5 year old granddaughter who likes science. She provided the most sought after review: read it again Grandma!

It is humourous, informative, and inspiring.
Profile Image for Lata.
3,609 reviews192 followers
November 29, 2016
Ada Twist is CURIOUS. And she asks lots of questions and conducts experiments. She's fun.
My favourite question: "Why don't we call it a granddaughter clock?"
Profile Image for Michelle Olson.
Author 3 books43 followers
October 7, 2019
Loved this book! I kept laughing at Ada’s brother pointing at her with a blank look on his face. Super cute.
Profile Image for Mehsi.
11.9k reviews361 followers
September 23, 2016
Ada Twist, a little girl with a knack for all things science.

She will do anything to find a solution, even though it might frustrate teachers and parents. Also poor cat!

She starts off as a baby, and we see her grow up to a child. We see her first words (of course as expected they would be those). We see her find out that life isn't always easy, and that people might not be always too happy when she does her experimenting.

I really liked Ada, liked how smart she was, how inventive she was, and how she just doesn't give up until she knows the answer. A lot of kids would just give up, but not Ada. She has a bright future ahead of her. I do hope her school, her parents, will do anything to make sure she gets the right education. Too many genius kids spend their time at school being bored, so I hope Ada will be spared from that.

But Ada also has enough to learn about real life. She has to learn that using a cat as an experiment is not good, she has to learn that making a mess is OK, but she needs to clean up. Drawing on walls is a no-no.

I loved the older brother, I loved how you could find him in almost every image, pointing at Ada, or calling for his parents when stuff went wrong. It was so much fun to spot him. Would he be in this picture as well? What about the next?

Ada's parents were really lovely, and they were really kind. Ada really is a lucky girl for having such a wonderful family.

The ending was a bit of a letdown however. It felt like there was supposed to be more, but then it was left to be like this.

The art is fabulous, but then again I knew it would be awesome since David Roberts has such a lovely drawing style (I love his work in the series The Bolds, and Tales of Terror as well).

All in all, I really really enjoyed this book a lot, and I would highly recommend it to everyone. I will definitely be checking out the other books in this series of smart kids.

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com/
Profile Image for Amanda--A Scientist Reads.
40 reviews83 followers
June 28, 2017
This picture-book focuses on the world of and life with a curious minded child named Ada. The illustrations are beautiful and it is a quick book to get through as story-time, or before-bed read. The author must have had or been around inquisitive children, because the story pegs the number and variety of questions perfectly.

Ada learns how to properly focus her questions so she can determine answers instead of continuing to wonder, and her family learns how to be supportive, even when they don't really understand Ada's NEED to know an answer, and to pull her back in when that need becomes more of an obsession. All of this, of course, put in easy situations for a child to grasp and an adult to demonstrate.

This book would be a great introduction to the idea of scientific process at a very high level, as I would guess this is intended for children just learning to read, and those in preschool. Anyone wanting to do this can start by pairing this as a primer with easy at-home experiments on how to ask questions, how to determine experimental results, and how to convey the information to others, through Ada's learning. Personally, I would start with questions like "what makes the color green" and then paint mixing to determine what colors resulted when combined and finally which one resulted in the green color. If I remember correctly, my older cousins did games like this with me as a child, and it helped to quell the never ending tide of questions for a time and helped me focus on what I want to know versus what I'm asking.

In all, this is a lovely children's book, which would be great for the future scientist in your life.
Profile Image for Sara.
408 reviews49 followers
August 5, 2017
While I typically don't add picture books to my Goodreads "read" books list (because it feels a bit like cheating for the purposes of my GR challenge goal), I felt compelled to add Ada Twist, Scientist after reading it to my friend's two year old Penny, at bed time the other day. The rhyme scheme, pictures, and portrayal of a girl interested in science were all spot on, and Penny and I were both enchanted.

Profile Image for Vi.
80 reviews11 followers
January 22, 2023
Love this story about a sassy gal with a knack for science! My son asked me to read it to him over and over and I'm happy that he grows up with stories that reflect our society!
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,116 reviews186 followers
March 12, 2019
In this entertaining follow-up to Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer , author Andrea Beaty and illustrator David Roberts once again deliver a tale of a youngster following her passion, even when the adults in her life are (at first) bemused and slightly less-than-understanding. A late bloomer when it came to speech, the eponymous Ada Twist soon made up for it by asking any number of questions, starting with WHY? With the heart and mind of a true scientist, Ada was always looking to explain and understand the world around her, even when that involved making a mess...

Like its predecessors, Ada Twist, Scientist is told in rhyme, and has a rollicking rhythm that would make for an excellent story-hour selection. After finding the narrative in Iggy Peck rather lackluster and awkward, and thinking that Rosie Revere was a great improvement, I'm happy to say that Ada Twist is the best of the three, with a text that begs to be read aloud. The artwork, created in various media - watercolors, pen and ink, pencil and graph paper - is quirky and appealing, capturing Ada's immense curiosity, her bereft confusion when forced to sit in silence by her exasperated parents, and her burst of renewed curiosity in response to her temporary confinement. Recommended to anyone looking for engaging picture-books featuring young scientists and thinkers, for children's stories about black children and their families, or texts with a Seussian feel to them.
Profile Image for Kym.
41 reviews3 followers
October 22, 2018
Always great to see books about girls loving science! A rhyming rhythm accompanies you through the pages; retelling the story of Ada Twist, Scientist! Nicely thought out book that shows Ada exhibiting all the hallmarks of a great scientist - asking questions, hypothesising, running experiments, and recognising that there is no such thing as a failed experiment. Easy, read aloud book :)
Also - cute to ask children to examine the pictures - find evidence - hypothesise - what do they think the smell might be??
Profile Image for fantine.
152 reviews334 followers
February 25, 2019
Ada Marie said not a word til the day she turned three, then she couldn’t stop asking; Why? What? Who? When? Where?

Ada’s curiosity leads to questions, which lead to hypothesis, which then lead to experiments which often lead to trouble. But nothing can deter this bright young questioneer.

Told in rhymes this story is a joy to read, the illustrations are adorable and Ada’s sense of wonder is infectious. I love!
Profile Image for Lisa Lynch.
442 reviews241 followers
April 5, 2022
I read this for a reading bingo challenge that asked me to read a children's or middle grade book. I picked Ada Twist, Scientist after hearing about it in a webinar about characters with disabilities in kids books. It was adorable.
Profile Image for Irene.
749 reviews
February 4, 2019
Dit is geen normaal prentenboek, maar een prentenboek waarin een kind kansen krijgt om zichzelf te ontwikkelen en vanalles te ontdekken. Het prentenboek laat zien hoe je onderzoek doet, maar het laat eigenlijk nog veel meer zien. Namelijk dat een kind ook op jonge leeftijd al kan onderzoeken als het maar de kans krijgt van zijn/haar ouders. Laat je kind nieuwsgierig zijn en help hem/haar bij zijn zoektocht naar het antwoord.

Vragen die voor ons als volwassenen heel normaal zijn, kunnen voor een kind heel belangrijk zijn.
‘Waarom zegt de klok tik, waarom zegt de klok tok?’
‘Waarom hebben we het nooit over grootmoeders klok?’
‘Waarom hebben rozen van die puntige pinnen?’
‘Waarom groeien in jouw neus de haren vanbinnen?’

Leuk aan dit boek vind ik ook de ‘echtheid’: Ada Marie Dapper is vernoemd naar Marie Currie en Ada Lovelace. Vrouwelijke topwetenschappers. Marie Currie ontdekte de elementen polonium en radium en later leidde dit tot de uitvinding röntgenstraling. Ada Lovelace was wiskundige en de allereerste computerprogrammeur.

En dan heb ik het nog niet eens gehad over de bijpassende illustraties waarop genoeg te zien is.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,080 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.