Libby Loves Science By Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes, Illustrated by Joelle Murray (2020) – hardcover
Recommended ages: 4 to 8
This is the fourth book in the fabulous Loves Science series. The series website has tons of fun printables for kids and materials for educators.
As with the others, I was immediately drawn in by the cover illustration! The doodles and vibrant colors are lots of fun. And inside, Illustrator Joelle Murray uses every inch of every page to help tell the story. The star of the show is Libby. But equally included in the story are her two science-loving friends, Finn and Rosa. I loved that the authors highlighted a group of mixed-gender and mixed-race friends!
The book starts with Libby using her chemistry skills to mix, pour, measure, and stir to make rainbow pancakes for her family at breakfast. At school, after making a mistake and causing a little mess during a class experiment, she learns that sometimes mistakes can lead to new insights and discoveries. Her teacher Mr. Darwin announces that there will be a fall festival and their class will be in charge of the science booth. The best booth in the fall festival would win an ice cream party. Of course, Libby and her friends Finn and Rosa volunteered to run the booth, each conducting a unique experiment.
Much to their dismay, their science booth was not very popular. They were competing with a dunk tank and a face-painting booth. The friends make their experiments more fun to attract a small crowd. But they ultimately do not win the contest. Mr. Darwin encourages them to still celebrate their efforts. Libby decides that they’d have their own ice cream party, and would incorporate her love of science by making their own ice cream!
Additional content includes a glossary of STEM terms used in the story. And, sure to be a hit with kids, there is a set of science experiments listed throughout the book that tie into the story. The experiments included are:
- A Foaming Fountain
- Giant Bubbles
- Fluffy Slime
- Libby’s EPIC Bottle Rocket
- Homemade Ice Cream
Take-away message: Not only is science fun but mistakes can lead to new discoveries. The authors are hoping to spread the love of science to every child who reads this book and the others in the series, especially for brown girls. More girls of color seem to be gravitating towards the sciences and I believe that it is partially due to books like this. Libby Loves Science is an absolute must-have for the budding scientist in your life!