Looking for books for a 6 year old on electricity, I turned to the Oscar series by Geoff Waring. There are six books forming an introduction to different aspects of the Key Stage 1 (5-7 year olds) Science curriculum. Each centres on a curious cat called Oscar (based on Waring’s own cat Oskar) who asks the questions children might ask about each topic. In each book Oscar meets a different animal who explains the science to him.
In Oscar and the Bird, Oscar is exploring a tractor when the windscreen wiper suddenly starts to move. While wondering how it had happened, Oscar is joined by Bird who explains he must have pressed the switch and electricity is making the wiper move. Bird goes on to explain batteries, switches, power lines, lightening and wind power. At the end there is a summary of what electricity is for, how it works and what it is made from.
The story book approach certainly makes the topic very accessible and is a good route in for children reluctant to engage with reference books. The other thing that drew me to the books was the lovely illustrations – very simple, but clear and engaging. The language is easily readable for early readers and the diagrams straightforward to follow and understand.
My only reservation is that I am not sure how much of the Key Stage 1 (5-7 year old) curriculum it actually covers. I’m not a teacher, but it feels quite limited. It is certainly enough information for a younger child, but most 6 year olds will be full of additional questions requiring a more conventional reference book. It would be nice to have some more detail perhaps at the back or in pull out boxes that you could cover as your child is ready. Overall I would say that it offers a great introduction and the presentation and feel of the book is lovely. I would however probably say that it is best for a slightly younger audience of 3-5 year olds and as a basic introduction for older children (but be prepared for those extra questions…).