Royal Society Prizes for Science Books Junior Shortlist announced

10 April 2008


Brainiac's Jon Tickle and Newsround presenter Sonali Gudka have combined their insider knowledge of exciting science and what captivates children to help choose the shortlist for this year's Royal Society Junior Prize for Science Books the world's most prestigious award for science writing which is announced today (Thursday 10 April 2008).

The six shortlisted books include advice from the animal kingdom's very own agony aunt - Dr K Fisher, essential tips for surviving in the Arctic and answers to those inquisitive questions that puzzle children such as, are people with bigger heads cleverer?'

The winning book will be selected entirely by young people with groups of children from over 100 schools and youth groups forming a judging panel to choose the winner.

Keith Chambers, Chair of this year's Junior Prize judges who selected the shortlist said: "As a judging panel we wanted to choose books that would break down complex science in an enjoyable and novel way for young people. We looked to pick the books that were accessible and showed, not just the theory of science, but how it can be applied in everyday situations. Our job was difficult because of the high standard of entries but the six books we have chosen all encompass the wonders and excitement of science."

The six books shortlisted by the judges are:

Ask Dr K Fisher about Animals  by Claire Llewellyn, illustrated by Kate Sheppard (Kingfisher)
The judges said: "A wonderfully novel approach to delivering science. Written in the style of a problem page Ask Dr Fisher about Animals offers guidance to concerned animals on appearance, growing up, dating and diet."

Big book of science things to make and do by Rebecca Gilpin and Leonie Pratt (Usborne)
The judges said: "A good doing' book. With so many practical activities to engage children they won't be able to put this book down!"

How the incredible human body works by the Brainwaves , by Richard Walker and illustrated by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Dorling Kindersley)
The judges said: "Impressively explanatory, this book is a novel way of drawing children into science. The art work and detail are superb."

It's Elementary! Putting the crackle into chemistry by Robert Winston (Dorling Kindersley)
The judges said: "We thought it was difficult to present chemistry in an engaging way but this book succeeds splendidly."

Serious Survival: How to Poo in the Arctic and other essential tips by Marshall Corwin (HarperCollins)
The judges said: "A science by the back door approach but which still manages to include a great wealth of information that will keep children captivated."

Why is Snot Green? Science Museum Question and Answer Book , by Glenn Murphy (Macmillan)
The judges said: "This book is fundamentally what science is about. A good why' book for children with inquisitive minds."

The judges on the Junior Prize panel this year who selected the six shortlisted books are: Keith Chambers (chair), Primary school teacher Meadowgate School; Sonali Gudka, presenter for CBBC's Newsround; Catherine Kendall, Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow, Cranfield University and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Trust; Professor Ottoline Leyser FRS, Professor of Plant Developmental Genetics, University of York and Jon Tickle, presenter for Sky's Brainiac.