When it comes to teaching primary school children about the world around them, why present them with a series of dull, unconnected facts when you can link it all together in an appealing way through an entertaining story and even let the children try things out for themselves. A young graduate of the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, Tereza Vostradovská, is behind the text and illustrations for this inventive book, which presents information about nature in a gentle and interactive form. In its underground burrow, an inquisitive big-eared mouse is putting together its own nature encyclopaedia. For this purpose, it sets out to investigate both under the ground and above it, through the woods and orchard and around the fish pond, encountering worms and larva, tracing the outlines of stones from fruit, listening to birdsong, thinking about how to tell the age of a tree or how to decide what is a fruit and what is a vegetable. It also sets tasks for its readers, teaching them how to catch beetles, grow plants or make a garden pond. In addition, the book is linked to new media and comes with an app and a website, which are also in English. Although the book is primarily intended for younger schoolchildren, the playful and yet clear (often full-page) illustrations make it comprehensible and attractive for pre-schoolers too.
“Playful Science may seem like a natural history textbook, but it is much more than just a teaching aid: the picture panels depicting, for example, life in the soil, in the trees or below the surface of a fish pond combine comparatively realistic drawing (yes, all those little creepy crawlies really are recognizable!) with artistic flair and at times with situational humour too.”
— Radek Malý, Host 3/2017
“Tereza Vostradovská’s large-format book, Playful Science, is an attractive way to teach infants about the world around them, and thanks to the dependable yet playful illustrations it can even be used with toddlers.”
— Jitka Nešporová, iLiteratura