For my daughter’s first birthday, we got a chemistry book for babies as a present. We were very excited to start reading it to her, especially since I have a master’s degree in chemistry and my husband has a master’s degree in chemical engineering. Once we started reading it to her, we quickly noticed that some of the chemistry concepts were inaccurate and some were too simplified to where they lost their meaning. This concerned me and I felt like I had to fix the problem. I had previously entertained the idea to write a science alphabet book for children soon after I graduated from college, but it was quickly placed on the back burner. After my daughter got her birthday present, I knew that I needed to start working on my project again so that children had the opportunity to get introduced to chemistry concepts correctly. I started doing research on science books for young children and found that there were very few books that focused on chemistry, so I knew there was a need for them.
Figure 1: Sperber's second book, The Organic Chemistry Alphabet Book
When I started writing The General Chemistry Alphabet Book, my goal was to produce a book that engages people of all ages – from babies to adults. In these books, every letter of the alphabet is tied to a different general chemistry concept and there are four main parts to each page:
- the fun, colorful picture that captures the attention of anyone reading the book, especially very young children and babies,
- the letter and word that are geared toward toddlers learning the alphabet,
- the definition of the word which is targeted to lower elementary-aged children, and
- the longer description that ties in both the definition and picture to help the reader better understand the concept in an easy and relatable way – the description is aimed toward upper elementary-aged students and beyond.
The different levels of learning on each page of my alphabet books allow the reader to grow with the book and learn from it for years to come (see figure 2).
Figure 2: Example pages from The Chemistry Alphabet Book representing letters D and Y
I have published two alphabet books so far - The General Chemistry Alphabet Book and The Organic Chemistry Alphabet Book (figure 2) - and have three upcoming books in 2020 that are written, but not available yet - The Inorganic Chemistry Alphabet Book, The Biochemistry Alphabet Book, and The Famous Scientists Alphabet Book. My books are unique because they approach the learning of chemistry in a non-threatening way by presenting the information in a condensed format such that the chemistry concept retains it’s meaning and the beautifully amazing illustrations, done by the incredible Elly Vergunst, make the book exponentially more appealing to readers.
Figure 3: A few other products found on Nanoscale Scientists Publishing website
My books are available for purchase through my website, Nanoscale Scientists Publishing, along with other fun chemistry products. I have a coloring book that accompanies The General Chemistry Alphabet Book, which is a great way for children to associate the letter and word for each page of the book with a fun drawing. There are also fun apparel options for kids, such as mole t-shirts and onesies, periodic table- shirts and onesies, and a Certified Nanoscale Scientist onesie. There are educational resources such as pens that have a periodic table that scrolls out of the pen with conversions and constants on the back of it, and The General Chemistry Information Sheet that has a periodic table with information and equations used for a full year of chemistry. The newest release is an adorable mole plush toy (see figure 3).
Editor's Note: The author was invited by High School Editor, Deanna Cullen, to share her story about publishing her educational chemistry books for children.