The Children’s Book Review | August 26, 2017
Written by Bo-hyun Seo
Illustrated by Sung-hwa Kwak
Age Range: 3-6
Publisher: TanTan Publishing (2016)
What to Expect: Science, Informative, Electricity.
Electricity is all around us, powering pretty much everything we do and everything we love. It can also, however, seem mysterious and invisible. What is electricity? Where does it come from? How does it work? And why does it sometimes go away? Bo-hyun Seo and Sung-hwa Kwak’s Electricity in Your Life helps to answer these questions and many more.
For a science book aimed at young readers, this volume makes clever and effective use of color, image, and text to convey complicated concepts simply. The cartoon-style drawings depict families going about their everyday life, with motion indicators subtly drawing attention to the depictions of electricity in motion (for example, the steam rising from the electric kettle, or the suction of the vacuum cleaner as it moves across the floor). At the same time, the colors are warm, bright, and cheerful: the underlying message is that, far from being mysterious and a little bit frightening, electricity is a part of everyday life and a source of comfort and pleasure. Throughout the volume electrical wires appear as frames for the illustrations, serve as lines linking text and image, and even cross the margins and spine of the book, drawing the eye of the reader along the paths and circuits that the current follows. Throughout the text is both informative and simple, using the repletion of key terms (“energy”, “wires”) and providing examples from everyday life to guide young readers through these introductory concepts. Finally, the focus throughout on a young, Asian girl as the main investigative character provides a positive role model for young readers, helping to correct some of the imbalances relating to gender and STEM in American visual culture. With a final message to readers about safety and conservation of electricity, this volume is an ethical and fun introduction to science.
About the Author
Bo-hyun Seo received a Master’s in Child Studies at Yonsei University. She has written The Anchovy’s Dream, Why Do We Bleed When We Fall Down?, Mr. Parkrooge’s Christmas, I Am The Longest, and many others.
About the Illustrator
Sung-hwa Kwak studied visual design in college and completed the Illustration program at Hangook Illustration School. Her work includes Korean, A Bowl that Contains Our Language, Don’t Tell Anyone, The Boy With Flags of All Nations and many others
Electricity in Your Life, by Bo-hyun Seo, was reviewed by Dr. Jen Harrison. Discover more books like Electricity in Your Life by following along with our reviews and articles tagged with Information Books, Informational Children’s Books, Non-Fiction, and Science.