Book Title: Little Jagadish and the Great Experiment
Author: Anjali Joshi
Illustrator: Debasmita Dasgupta
Publisher: Puffin Books
Recommended Age: 5-10 years
I have a five year old child who asks me a million questions a day. I constantly oscillate between wanting to encourage his curiosity and natural scientific temperament, and wanting to become invisible and avoid the questions that I don’t know the answers to. I resort to “I don’t know” very often, and immediately go on a guilt trip for not having the time to do research! This book brought about a big change in my thinking as a parent, even though the book is meant for children.
The story is about Jagadish Chandra Bose, and how he nurtured his curiosity to know more about everything around him. One day he has a question – Can plants hear? His teacher says that nobody knows the answer to this question, but that is what is exciting. Why don’t you perform an experiment to find out, and note your observations? So, little Jagadish does exactly that, and goes on to become a renowned scientist.
The book has wonderful illustrations and even includes some experiments at the end to promote curiosity and observation skills. But, my favourite has to be the simple way in which it explains the concept of research and hypothesis. It is so simply explained, that my 5 year old immediately understood the concept.
“Start with a question, like you’ve already done.
Then make a guess, this is where it gets fun!
Do some experiments, and find some clues,
Make some observations, see if your guess is true!”
My little bug lover had been asking me – “Mom, do ants like butter or sugar more?” I really don’t know but after we read this book, this is what he said and did:
“Mumma, we must do an experiment and set out a spoon of butter and a spoon of sugar, and see where the ants come!” I was once again oscillating between wanting him to be little Jagadish and getting visions of ants all over my house! Anyway, we set out a spoon dipped in butter in one corner of the kitchen and a spoon dipped in honey in the other corner. Neil thought, much like me, that ants would be attracted to honey. But no, within 20 minutes, the spoon dipped in butter was teeming with black ants, while the honey spoon was clean. Were they on a no sugar diet? Was our honey adulterated? That’s an experiment for another day!
If you enjoyed this review and think your little Jagadish will be fascinated by such experiments, you can grab this book from Amazon (kbc affiliate link),CLICK & BUY NOW!
Note from the publisher: Inspired by the life and work of scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose, this STEM-based picture book encourages young readers to embrace their curiosity and explore and discover the world around them. Accompanied by simple science experiments to pique their interest, the style of writing constantly probes and encourages the reader to experiment to arrive at their own conclusion. Paired with Debasmita’s detailed and vibrant illustrations, the book brings alive the Calcutta in which Bose grew up.
Anjali Joshi is a science teacher, curriculum developer, and author of several children’s books, including ABC Science Book, Sarla in the Sky and Little Jagadish and the Great Experiment. She holds a master’s degree in science education from the University of Oxford and is currently based in Toronto, Canada.