Kate Simpson (text) and Andy Hardiman (illustrator), Ouch! Tales of Gravity, Allen & Unwin, February 2022, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760526610
Gravity is not an easy force to explain to young readers, so this scientific picture book is a great way to present the concept. Starting with the famous apple falling on Isaac Newton’s head (although this one is dropped by a mischievous child up in the tree), the text progresses through illustrations of things falling downwards and not falling sideways.
The gravitational pull of the earth and of the sun on the planets is shown and the lack of gravity on the International Space Station is also humorously depicted. A double-page spread of facts about gravity is included at the end along with instructions for a scientific experiment. The endpapers have lots of colourful apples falling from the top edge.
The illustrations are in bright colours on pages of different backgrounds and the font changes colour. For example, pages about space are on black backgrounds with white, yellow, red and aqua lettering. One slight quibble is that a pterosaur is shown dropping a large egg on a caveman’s head. Seeing that prehistoric peoples and pterodactyls did not co-exist, this is a factual blunder. Otherwise, this is a very good information book for early childhood readers and the classroom.
Reviewed by Lynne Babbage