Books can spark ingenuity and dreams of life-long opportunities. With school ending for many graduates and kids looking toward the future, why not expose them to many occupational possibilities that could be just beyond their horizon? The following books are good for all ages unless otherwise indicated. I have grouped the following books into these categories: science, people, animals, adventure and the ocean.
A Beginner’s Guide to Coding, by Marc Scott, and brightly illustrated with clever looking emojis throughout by Mick Marston, is an easy hands-on spiral bound book to help enable one to grasp computer programming techniques. The languages of Scratch 3.0 and Python can be easily learned with step-by-step instructions. If your child loves working and creating on the computer, he/she may have a future in this necessary coding occupation. There is a glossary and more information found at the back. This book is perfect for all ages through twelve.
Rover Throws a Party: Inspired by NASA’S Curiosity on Mars, by Kristin L. Gray, and the wonderful atmospheric illustrations by Scott Magoon, is a richly painted picture book about this scientific venture on Mars. In 2013 NASA programmed their rover to celebrate its first year on the planet. It hummed the traditional birthday song and this story takes off from there with the rover looking for others to help celebrate its birthday. This storyline makes this amazing event accessible to youngsters and helps them understand NASA and this thrilling and successful program. Also, there are interesting facts about Mars found throughout making this great for all to read. Be sure to check out the author’s notes and facts at the back of the book.
Eclipse Chaser: Science in the Moon’s Shadow, by Ilima Loomis, and with brilliant photographs by Amanda Cowan, is a most informative and amazing book that is part of the outstanding Scientists in the Field series. This highly interesting book follows solar physicist Shadia Habbal and her observation team as they study the sun’s corona and its effect on earth during solar eclipses. She travels throughout the world following solar eclipses in order to capture more information. This vital information includes learning how the sun’s corona disrupts technology and exposing radiation to aircraft. The year 2017 had an important eclipse in regions in America and Shadia studied the effects in Oregon. This fascinating field of work might be something that could ignite your future scientist. This excellent series includes The Tornado Scientist, Crow Smarts: Inside the Brain of the World’s Brightest Bird and The Hive Detectives.
Dr. Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System, by Dr. Maggie Aberin-Pocock, is a brightly illustrated book to teach about our solar system. It is easily accessible with kid-friendly facts highlighted with backdrops of colorful planets. Dr. Maggie is a space scientist and hopes to invigorate all who read this highly interesting book and who might be interested in pursuing a career in this field or to learn more about our solar system. The book reads like a tour as Dr. Maggie takes you from earth to the moon and then the sun and planets in order of the solar system. The book is so well laid out kids of all ages will surely learn much and desire to learn even more. You’ll find an outstanding glossary at the back.
Travels with Figment: On the Road in Search of Disney Dreams, by Marty Sklar, is filled with personal stories and experiences by the premier magician who worked the Disney magic for over fifty-four years. After he retired, Marty Sklar continued to tour and tell personal stories about his experiences working with the legend Walt Disney and as the creative leader in the Imagineering Department. After he retired, one of the most asked questions of him was to write more stories about all that he experienced all those years at Disney. So, he wrote this book which is filled with antidotes and richly woven stories that happened to him during his life at Disney. Sadly, he died before being able to completely finish the book, so the last chapters of the book are filled with personal tributes from his colleagues. The underlying theme throughout this outstanding and highly interesting book is the power of imagination and the motivation to follow your dream. His other books are also inspirational: One Little Spark and Dream It! Do It! All three books are best suited for seventeen years and older.
What Miss Mitchell Saw, by Hayley Barrett, and filling the pages with starry matter made with gouache and watercolor by Diana Sudyka, is a picture book celebrating the life of Maria Mitchell who was the first to identify a comet back in 1847. The scientific community named the comet Miss Mitchell’s Comet and this young woman became the first female astronomer. The story begins with her fascination of the stars in the heavens and her curiosity became her livelihood. The glorious words and illustrations glide together in harmony making this a perfect nightly read-out-loud for all to enjoy. More information about her life is found at the back of the book. This book is best for ages five through twelve.
That’s A Job? I Like Animals…What Jobs are There?, by Steve Martin, and brightly illustrated by Roberto Blefari, showcases twenty-five different animal jobs. Each open page features a possible job and what it would entail. In the Pet Vet section, you learn briefly about what it would involve to become a veterinarian. At the bottom of the open page highlights the best and worst part of this job. The best would be you get to work with animals and help them. The worst part is you can’t help all of them. At the back there is a Perfect Job Match to help you discover what you might enjoy most. This book is best suited for ages six through twelve.
Wild Lives: 50 Extraordinary Animals That Made History, by Ben Lerwill, and beautifully painted with gouache, watercolor and Photoshop by Sarah Walsh, is a captivating account of interesting animals who became famous in unique ways. The book is divided into several sections that include Rescue & Protect and Inspire and Influence. In the Rescue & Protect section you learn about Sergeant Stubby, a stray dog who protected and served in seventeen battles during World War I. At the heart of these stories could be motivation for some who may desire to work, train or research and delve into the lives of animals.