The Big Story of Being Alive
Wren & Rook, 2023
32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99
What does it mean to be alive? The three things that are agreed on to define “alive” are that all living things grow, reproduce and they are made of trillions of tiny, but critically important, organisms called cells. It is how these cells combine and work together that gives each living thing its unique characteristics.
Young readers can find out what a cell is and why they are important, including how they themselves start as two cells from their parents, in this engaging, fact-filled book written to entertain as well as educate. Readers will empathise with the little robot who is not alive, but who, in the end would like to be because of all the things it means it could do. In the past, and perhaps still, the foundation science unit for our youngest students was to distinguish between those things that were alive and those that weren’t beginning their understanding of comparing, contrasting and classifying and so this would be a great starting point to help them understand why there are differences, rather than just that there are. They could use what they learn to develop a set of questions based on the criteria for being alive and then examine those things around them to see which they satisfy. Perhaps it will start them on a lifelong journey of scientific discoveries.