Book Review: Why is the sky blue? by Shabana Muhajir

coverfinal_rankTitle: Why is the sky Blue?

Author: Shabana Muhajir

Genre: Non-Fiction, Kids

Age Group: Picture Books, Kids

Rating: 4 stars

Purchase: Website, Amazon

Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

While playing at the beach, two boys begin to wonder why the sky is blue and ask their mother to explain the reason to them. As they are very young, their mother needs to decide how best to explain to her boys. She discusses the phenomenon of the blue sky in a manner that even her six year old can understand. While addressing their initial query, the boys come up with several other related questions, and the mother answers them all with simple facts and drawings. To make it easier and more interesting, she performs a fun experiment with her boys, which shows them why the sky is blue at sunrise and red/orange at sunset.

The book is a must have for all those curious kids who are trying to make sense of the world around them, and for all those parents who want to satisfy their curiosity.

Two young boys, Aayan and Rayan, go to the beach one day with their Mom, when one of the boys asks Mom why the sky is blue. It’s such a simple, yet such a thoughtful question. Instead of coming up with half an answer, their Mom goes into great troubel to tell them how it works. She explains that all colors have different wavelengths, and for instance, blue and violet have short wavelengths, whereas red and yellow have longer wavelengths. Shorter wavelengths get scattered in the atmosphere by particles and gases. Red goes right through, because it has a longer wavelength, so we can’t see it, but blue, with its short wavelength, gets scattered. Why we don’t see violet? Simple, because we see blue more easily.

She also goes on to explain why the sky is red in the evening. But if you want to know why that is, you’ll have to read the book. Or as, in other words, I can’t be bothered to explain. And the book explains it way better than I ever could.

Why is the sky blue? is probably the first non-fiction book for kids I’ve read since I was a kid. It’s well-written, with short, easy sentences for kids to understand. The explanation offered here about why the sky is blue is perhaps the best-explained, easiest-to-understand explanation I’ve ever read about this particular subject. If a parent reads this book with a child, and explains (or refers to the glossary) what the child doesn’t understand, every once in a while, then the child will surely understand the topic, why the sky is blue, and what’s going on.

I also liked the little experiment at the end. It was great to see how the Mom, knowing both her sons were so interested in the subject, even managed to host an experiment to explain it! Great parenting, and an example for other parents.

My only pet peeve about the book were the illustrations. They aren’t all that professional. Even the simple illustrations to understand what the Mom is talking about, why well-thought-through, and explaining their point, don’t look professional, and in fact, look a little sloppy.

But apart from that, I enjoyed the book. The writing was perfect for young kids. If your kid likes science, or comes up with these kind of questions every now and then, then Why is the sky blue? is a must read.


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