Isabel and the Invisible World, by Alan Lightman/Illustrated by Ramona Kaulitzki, (Apr. 2023, MIT Kids Press), $18.99, ISBN: 9781536223330
Isabel only wants one thing for her sixth birthday: something that will let her see “invisible things” that are invisible. Her scientist mother knows the perfect gift for Isabel: a prism, so Isabel can see the colors that make up light. This readable introduction to the science of light is a joy to read; Isabel is a curious young girl with a love of science, and the story conveys that sense of excitement and wonder to readers. The narrative builds the excitement leading up to Isabel’s birthday; Isabel’s mother explains how the prism works in an accessible, interesting way. Digital illustrations are warm and utilize the direction of light throughout the story; triangles show up throughout the spreads, and the rainbow spectrum shows up throughout the book. Isabel and her brother, Julian, are biracial: Mom is blonde and light-skinned; Dad is brown-skinned; Isabel is brown-haired, Julian is blonde; both are light brown-skinned. Back matter includes an explanation of light energy. A fun, readable choice for a STEM storytime or any time!
Hand out prism coloring pages for a post-storytime extension activity. There’s a good one from Science Workshop on TeachersPayTeachers. Try this prism experiment from Rosie Research either during a STEM program or hand out instructions for families to try at home: it’s easy!