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Themes, Topics & Categories > Scientists in Picture Books

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message 1: by José (new)

José Alonso | 4 comments Hi! I am interested in social perception of science and children literature. I am researching now picture books to find how scientists are depicted (white old men with glasses and a lab coat?) Could you help me? Is there any scientist (mad or not!) in your picture books? Thanks a lot for your help.


message 2: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
I would look in the topic section of the picture book club, as I know we have covered themes of ecology, rainforests and such.

One of the books we covered for the rainforest topic definitely does not deal with a white old man in a lab coat, but is the story of a woman who does on site research in South America, in the rain forest, The Most Beautiful Roof in the World: Exploring the Rainforest Canopy.


message 3: by José (new)

José Alonso | 4 comments I understand it is illustrated by photographs, right? I am trying to see mostly in drawings where there is more subjectivity. I thank you for your kind and fast answer.


message 4: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
José wrote: "I understand it is illustrated by photographs, right? I am trying to see mostly in drawings where there is more subjectivity. I thank you for your kind and fast answer."

This one does have photographs, but there are many picture books that do show drawings of more than old white men in a lab coat.


message 5: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
In fact, I would say that current illustrators are fighting that stereotype to the other extreme. I'd have to check, but I have a distinct impression that the most common drawing is of a young black woman!


message 6: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 7044 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "In fact, I would say that current illustrators are fighting that stereotype to the other extreme. I'd have to check, but I have a distinct impression that the most common drawing is of a young blac..."

Kind of annoying how it seems to go from one extreme to the other ...


message 7: by Chris (new)

Chris Stead (chrisstead) | 19 comments I've only had one scientist in a book so far, and he was a child in a lab coat with goggles always under his spiky hair. I thought it would be a stronger connection to my readers if he was young as they could see themselves in the scientist. He builds a zoo out of rubbish he finds washed up on the beach and then brings it all to life - you can see what he looks like here.


message 9: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (last edited Oct 24, 2017 08:20PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
I think the OP is looking for fiction, as he uses the words 'literature' and 'subjectivity.' But good point that diverse non-fiction is available, too!


message 10: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
OK. He asked about picture books but did not specify fiction; and these three biographies are definitely picture books.


message 11: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
In most of the fictional picture books that I can think of, the "scientist" or "inventor" is a child; sometimes a girl, sometimes a boy; but rarely an adult.


message 12: by Cheryl, Newbery Club host (last edited Oct 24, 2017 08:21PM) (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) | 6182 comments Mod
Good points. Wish he'd come back and let us know if our comments have helped him at all.


message 13: by José (new)

José Alonso | 4 comments Thanks, Beverly. I am building a database of all the children's books (fiction and non-fiction) that depict a scientist. I would greatly appreciate if you or any reader can send me pictures of the scientist and the book. Thanks a lot for the help!


message 14: by José (new)

José Alonso | 4 comments Your comments are a real help. I try to locate as many picture books with scientists as possible to have a real perspective. Thanks for suggestions for this search. Best!


message 15: by Beverly, Miscellaneous Club host (last edited Oct 28, 2017 07:56PM) (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 2276 comments Mod
José wrote: "Thanks, Beverly. I am building a database of all the children's books (fiction and non-fiction) that depict a scientist. I would greatly appreciate if you or any reader can send me pictures of the ..."

If you click on the links in my message, #8, above, you will see an image of the book cover, and in each case, there is an illustration of the scientist on the book cover.


message 16: by Justine (new)

Justine Laismith (justinelaismith) | 50 comments José wrote: "Your comments are a real help. I try to locate as many picture books with scientists as possible to have a real perspective. Thanks for suggestions for this search. Best!"

Can you update us when you have compiled the list, Jose? It will be a useful list.


message 17: by QNPoohBear (new)

QNPoohBear | 1354 comments In the local bookstore and here on GR, I've seen a book called Ada Twist, Scientist
There are some recommended at A Mighty Girl


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