SCIENCE. For many it's the only thing that matters. For others, it's a demon to be exorcised from all discourse. And for still others, it's a wondrous realm of exploration and discovery that simply needs to be viewed through the right glasses. For the authors of theWonders of Creation Series, those glasses are God-focused rather than man-focused.
Like all the science books published by Master Books, these serve a dual purpose: to educate children about scientific fact, as well as to strengthen their understanding and application of that data to a Christian worldview. This isn't a curriculum per se, so it may be just the thing to get your kids interested in a topic too often obscured by agendas and propaganda.
How Do These Work?
Each book addresses a particular topic: geology, oceans, fossils, ecology, astronomy, caves, and weather are all covered. The books are hardcover and large-sized, with glossy pages and lots of color photographs, diagrams, and drawings throughout. Text is aimed at children of all ages, though you'll probably have to read it aloud to younger kids.
These aren't just picture books, though. Information is dense without being overwhelming, and presented in such a way that kids will actually learn a lot about the topic being studied. At the end of every volume is a glossary and an index. Chapters are generally short so that kids can read through them without getting bored or distracted.
Study questions aren't included in the books themselves, but study guides are available (these can also be downloaded for free from the Master Books website). These include a variety of short answer and discussion questions, terms to know and spell, and activities for adding a hands-on element.
Because each book is written by a different author or authors, and because the authors are scientists who specialize in the field about which they're writing, some of the books are more readable than others. None of them are hard to read, but some of them are more like shotgun blasts of information than others.
The two newest books in the series (The Ecology Book, andThe New Astronomy Book) include an age-level feature. Text in these two volumes is color-coded to correspond to three age categories from very young to high school, so that students are sure to understand the information they're reading. This feature is not included in the earlier books, but revisions are in store for the other titles which may (hopefully will) include this update.
Our Honest Opinion
Science books for kids are everywhere, but most of them smuggle an atheistic worldview in the guise of objectivity. These books definitely defend and explain the Christian worldview and the creationist perspective, but they do so honestly, looking at the scientific data and explicitly showing how it fits in with the biblical account.
While theWonders of Creation Series isn't a curriculum, you could definitely use it to prepare elementary students for more intensive science study later on. It also shows them how science study fits into their Christian worldview, mostly by reminding kids that divine creation is just as viable an explanation (if not more) as evolution.
Good science books that aren't textbooks for Christian kids are fairly rare, especially ones that actually impart a lot of scientific information and aren't just fixated on pushing the worldview aspects of creationism. This series is explicitly creationist, but it's also attractive, fun, and very science-y. Whether your kids like science or not, we're pretty sure they'll like these books.
Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur.Read more of his reviewshere.
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