The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Chemistry for Kids: Homemade Science Experiments and Activities Inspired by Awesome Chemists, Past and Present
by Liz Lee Heinecke
The Kitchen Pantry Scientist: Chemistry for Kids by Liz Lee Heinecke is a brilliant family book for bringing science to life at home, featuring 25 short, illustrated biographies of chemists throughout the ages with a do-in-your-kitchen experiment linked to each of their fields research.
As well as some famous chemists, such as Marie Curie, many less well known scientists are featured (ensuring something in this book even for those who are keen budding scientists). A good number of women and researchers from across the world are included; it’s great to see this diverse representation of scientists showing all children how any of them could go on to change the world with their own scientific discoveries.
The experiments are adapted so you can carry them out at home with minimal resources and relatively little adult supervision. The instructions are accompanied by (almost) step by step photos (with kids from a wide range of backgrounds doing the experiments), and there’s always a challenge, encouraging young scientists to extend the experiment in a new way. Experiments include making your own soda water, lighting up LEDs with lemons, distilling essential oils, making dyes and much more. This book could be enjoyed by kids as young as 5 (with input from their grownups) but could equally well be enjoyed by early teens left to their own devices in the kitchen.
A couple of tiny typos (the wrong date for the publication of the first draft of the periodic table by Mendeleev, and a misspelling of Marie Curie’s birth name) detract slightly from what is otherwise an excellent, informative, fun and engaging book. Definitely one to look out for.
[Reviewed by Zoe for FOLIO]