I was first introduced to Andrea Beaty and David Roberts work when my Grandma bought me Rosie Revere, Engineer. My Grandma has always had brilliant taste in books and alongside my Grandfather and parents, my sisters and I were always encouraged and supported to be strong independent women and to invest time in reading and learning.
Fast forward three years and now I am a mamma of two girls myself who adores reading Andrea Beaty’s work during snuggly reading time with my little ladies.
Little One, my three year spotted Ada Twist, Scientist in the library and although we don’t have our own copy I can tell you our library copy is very well loved and we have borrowed it more than once. This is Andrea Beaty’s third book in the series.
Ada Marie, is the main character in Ada Twist, Scientist. She is a young black girl. I make the point of mentioning that she is black and female because as much as more books are being published both characteristics are still few and far between for leading characters in picture books. There has been much research on this subject area in the US and here in the U.K the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) is due to analyse the quality of diverse characters in UK children’s books. This research is happening for the first time due to funding Arts Council England have put forward.
We learn that Ada from a young age was a rather curious girl but it is not until she turns three years old when she begins to talk. Her curiosity is proven in the questions she asks, beginning from why and exploring the how, what and when.
I am sure many adults can relate to the magic of why, I can certainly remember when my three year old began asking questions. Ada is truly an inquisitive girl and her parents are so supportive in answering all her curiosities. They explore her questions and research together, an absolute delight to observe.
Spring arrives and Ada continues to carry out her investigations but something catches her by surprise, a “horrible stench” that “whacked her right in the nose.” What could this smell be? Just like a scientist Ada gets to work on finding out what this “stench” is. She explores different hypotheses which David Roberts illustrates in a fun, child friendly way.
But things go a little too far and when she is caught putting the cat in the washing machine her parents yell “STOP!”
Ada is directed to the “Thinking Chair” a place for quiet and reflection but certainly not a place where Ada stops thinking about the stench. She is upset and knows that her actions have made her parents cross but she is not willing to give up. Her parents too have time to reflect and soon they are together supporting Ada once again. The exploration of a disagreement makes the book even more real and it is positive to see how the situation is dealt with.
Ada Marie is named after two great women who made fantastic discoveries, Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace. Andrea Beaty does a fantastic job at making us fall in love with Ada and her enquiries. She is a determined young girl who is further supported by her family. She is unstoppable and perhaps just like who she is named after her future discoveries could well have a big impact but ultimately her parents are there for her and want to support Ada’s passion of science
Andrea Beaty’s energetic rhyming text makes this a brilliant read. It is certainly a fun read aloud and the language used is relatable for young readers with scientific words sprinkled in. David Roberts stylish illustrations are superb and the clean white backgrounds allow young readers to truly immerse into the life of Ada.
We are big fans of this book so we were not surprised when Little One decided that she wanted to be Ada on World Book Day. I am delighted by this book and super happy that Little One adores it too.