We Use Science and We Use Maths by Kim Hankinson and Jenny Jacoby

b small Publishing

We Use Science and We Use Maths are such fascinating books that publish on 1st April 2022 from b small publishing. They are the first two releases in the We Use It Everyday Series.

Great for independent readers of around 7/8+ but could be shared with younger children. They’re highly illustrated with lots of opportunities to discuss through pictures.

As my daughter is currently five I will often share texts with her that she couldn’t completely access herself. She enjoys the content of these older texts and I read snippets of the text in between exploring images. Now she is gaining confidence in her reading she will often read small captions independently.

We Use It Everyday Unique Style

The series are written in first person as though the person from that profession is talking directly to you; not a concept that often happens in a children’s non-fiction text. However, this more narrative style will appeal to children for whom non-fiction would not normally be their first choice. It certainly gives a more intimate, personal feel than many non-fiction texts I’ve read for children.

Another non-fiction text which has a more narrative style where you get a real sense of the author is Mr Shaha’s Marvellous Machines – you can find my full review here.

Kim Hankinson

I first came across Kim’s style with these two brilliant publications from b small from the 50 Things to Try series. They’re always fun and informative with lots of opportunities to explore nature. You can find my thoughts on the Autumn edition here and the Winter edition here.

Bias

I feel for maths and science it’s important that these books encourage readership without bias. Kim’s images are gender neutral and the characters in We Use Science and We Use Maths are from a range of backgrounds.

I particularly love the endpapers of both books which show lots of different people – it gives the message that you can do these jobs, anyone can.

Occupations

A plethora of different occupations are depicted in both books and how that job uses science/ maths. You get to read about the science or maths behind interior designers, DJs, pilots, chefs, florists, dog groomers and hair stylists to name a few.

There’s a write up about things that happen or are used in the day to day for that role. The bottom third of the page has resources that are used in pictorial form with labels. The top right of the page goes into one or more ways that the maths/ science is used in more detail; this is the section I’ve found really exciting.

Back of the Book

Words in bold denote that there is a more detailed explanation of the term in the glossary at the back of the book. Also at the back of the book is a page #MathsSquad in We Use Maths and #ScienceSquad in We Use Science that invites you to take what you have learnt from the book further. I love this idea from b small to create a STEAM community. Would be lovely for schools to set up their own class squads.

If you are looking to set up your own squad, b small have prepared a couple of resources. You can find Maths Squad here and Science Squad here.

Opportunities for Further Learning

For primary teachers I think these books would be a great resource to plan a unit of study around. You could pick one occupation for a series of lessons and look more deeply into the maths or science or both! Or you could have a different ‘theme’ each lesson.

Would be lovely to have some hands on experience through role play. You could explore occupations though play in early years and through into KS1 and KS2. Inviting visiting professionals in to discuss first hand would also help children to see that maths and science are used every day.

Thank you to Naomi from b small for sending books for review.

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