The Kids’ Solar Energy Book

March 29th, 2011 · No Comments · Books


Frequent Vegbooks readers may have picked up on my scorn of some alternative energy nonfiction that clearly omits any mention of solar energy. The cosmos aligned and sent me a copy of The Kids’ Solar Energy Book, which is a humorous means of investigating active systems, passive solar, and the conversion of sunlight into electricity through a classroom setting. The information presented within is very much a la Charlie Brown, whereby we can’t see the teacher, but we can hear her. Students are drawn in a 1970’s style (the book was originally published in 1982 and rereleased in 2009) and help to elaborate on their lessons and make many a joke.

Illustrator Malcom Wells does a fantastic job incorporating the laugh-out-loud absurd in his cartoons: cats, dinosaurs and giant ants sitting at desks, kids in random costume and engaging in off-topic behavior (knitting, brewing coffee, and doing hand stands). However, it takes nearly 90 pages to convey the basics of solar energy – a bit lengthy I think, especially when the pages are set up in the same manner and look virtually identical (the entire book is done in a green/white two-tone color scale). Overall, this text is an unusual take on solar energy, but one that kids will enjoy. It may just take a few sessions to get through.

Ages 9+.

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