Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder


Scientist Mr Shaha became aware of the possibilities of motion at an early age through examining the motor of his broken toy helicopter. His early curiosity grew so that as a science teacher, he was determined to include the creed of ‘look, ask, play’ within his lessons. Thereafter, he developed Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder.

Within five scientific areas, Mr Shaha includes experiments that seek to demonstrate the science. Therefore, within the sound section, using the ingredients of wire coat hangers and string, he seeks to show how ‘sounds are produced and how they travel.’ Furthermore we are invited to create balloon powered cars, with ingredients including card, masking tape, drinking straws, kebab skewers and plasticine and bottle tops. These seek to show how things move, and how we might change the speed of movement. Within this experiment Mr Shaha expands upon two key ideas of science, including Newton’s Law. Somehow, by doing something so accessible and enjoyable, the understanding is more obvious!

Emily Robertson’s illustrations are vibrant and inviting, but Mr Shaha is comprehensive and positive in his guidance. I am delighted to recommend and share Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder. What a superb book!

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Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder

Adventures in Science Round the Kitchen Table

Alom Shah & Emily Robertson


Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder are inspired by this science teacher’s love for his subject. Thereafter, he  created a book of activities that offer opportunities to ‘look, ask, play.‘ His experiments demand demonstration ‘to elicit joy, wonder and most importantly curiosity.’
The book focuses upon motion, sound, electricity, magnetism and light, atoms, and living things. Each section includes experiments that seek to explain the specific science. For example, within the motion section, readers are invited to create a crisp-tin catapult. We collect ingredients, follow a method, consider additional questions, hypothesise and realise the explanation. It means that the process follows a traditional science experiment. Furthermore the setting out and pictures help us to understand the activity and purpose.
One of the experiments within the atoms’ section considers the effect of adding or removing certain baking ingredients. Although this may appear to be time- consuming, the science is fascinating! Furthermore, there is something in the cause and effect of this that is real. Thereafter, each of Mr Shaha’s experiments is applicable to our lives. It seems like he seeks us to be more aware of our world, even down to the small things.
I have read Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder twice. It makes me wish I’d had this title when I was teaching. Furthermore, it is destined to be shared with our family scientist who complains about the dearth of straightforward, positive science books. Bookwagon is proud to share the wonder with this scientist!



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