Technology: A Byte-Size World

The Basher Science series has a new addition released this month: Technology: A byte-size world! by Dan Green and illustrator/author Simon Basher. This installment tackles machines, from simple to complex, and the materials that are used to create them.

You are probably already familiar with the Basher Science series, but if not, each topic generally consists of a two-page spread with illustrator/author Simon Basher’s unique cartoon illustrations that have the flavor of Japanese chibi on the right side and the text discussion on the left side. The text follows a formula of three bullet factoids, a paragraph or two of kicky first-person narrative about the topic with a few groan-worthy puns thrown in, and then three more bullet points.

As you might expect, this brief-and-flashy formula works better for some topics than others. Still, the kid-friendly tone of the characters and lack of density of the text entices struggling or jaded readers to give it a try, which is the book’s -and the series’- real strength. Once readers are drawn in, they will likely want more information on inventions such as such as a 3-D printer or a particle accelerator. Even though the brevity sometimes is frustrating, I have to admit that I often learn something new from these books. Did you know that rockets need to carry oxygen with them in order to fire in space? How about that rack-and-pinion steering was not patented until 1975?

Technology: A byte-size world is a byte-size introduction to the world of invention. For readers looking for something unique and refreshing, it will be a treat.

Note: This version comes with a detachable poster.

Other Basher book reviews:
Punctuation: The Write Stuff
Oceans: Making Waves!
Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction!

For more information, be sure to visit the Basher Books website.

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher (July 17, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0753468204
ISBN-13: 978-0753468203

More books from the Basher series:


The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Come visit the STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.

Basher Science: Oceans: Making Waves!

Look what came out this week:  another fun Basher Science book, Oceans: Making Waves! by Dan Green and Simon Basher, with illustrations by Simon Basher.

If you are not familiar with the Basher Science series, Simon Basher creates illustrations that have the flavor of Japanese chibi. They are sure to intrigue visual learners, especially those interested an manga and anime. Each “character” (organism or ocean feature) describes itself in the first person voice and in a light, conversational tone.

Don’t be fooled by the tone, however, the book is well-organized and packed with interesting facts. Starting with a heartwarming bow to “Captain” Jacques Cousteau, the authors proceed to describe the general features of oceans and seas in “Water World.” Waves, currents and tides are the subjects of “Ocean Motion,” and then the following chapters discuss groups of organisms in different habitats, such as the “Shoreline Gang” and the “Open Water Crew.” In the final chapter, “Ocean Explorers,” the authors explore the human part of the equation, as well as some environmental issues. With a final nod to visual learners, the book also includes a poster with many of the characters from the book.

Oceans: Making Waves! is for everyone, but it really fills the gaps for students who may struggle with more stuffy textbook-style nonfiction. The illustrations pull them in and the light tone keeps them reading. It is also great for younger advanced readers who can handle the vocabulary, but aren’t ready for huge blocks of uninterrupted text. In a world of meat-and-potatoes nonfiction, Basher Science books are the sushi.

Related hands-on activities:

  1. Let’s make waves (for younger children)
  2. Wind and waves (more advanced)
  3. Tide-pool invertebrates and other beach science activities at Growing With Science

My review of another Basher Science book, Chemistry:  Getting a Big Reaction

Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Kingfisher (March 27, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0753468212
ISBN-13: 978-0753468210

The book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Take a look at the bright, cheerful titles in the Basher Science series:

Come visit the new  STEM Friday blog each week to find more great Science, Technology, Engineering and Math books.