Book Review: 'Oscar and the Bird'

Oscar and the Bird joins a series of “Start With Science” books starring Oscar, an appealing kitten whose mentors teach him about everything from sound to electricity. The first thing the adult reader learns is that it’s hard to explain electricity. Any explanation simple enough for a picture book is likely to raise more questions than it answers. But it is nice to find a book that at least tries to explain the magic of windshield wipers and batteries, and Oscar and the Bird does a decent job of it.

Even better, it doesn’t skimp on the quality of the illustrations (clean, graphic digital creations) or the design (the books themselves have an unusual rectangular shape, and occasional divided pages allow for more facts to be presented appealingly). Despite the probably unavoidable slightly didactic tone, preschoolers with lots of questions will enjoy this and other Oscar books, and parents will appreciate the effort to bring a little science onto the lower library shelves.

KJ Dell'Antonia

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