A baby explores heat and energy through a sunny day and a bite of an apple. A white, onesie- and hat-wearing baby greets a smiling sun as Spiro’s text, one or two sentences per double-page spread, discusses how the sunshine gives us warmth and helps trees grow. In this case, it is an apple tree. Baby eats one of the fruits, and it gives the little one energy to play and grow. The coda states: “All living things get their energy from the sun.” Chan’s paintings in cheerful colors adroitly capture the young child’s wonder and joy in exploration. While adults may understand that the sun’s energy is fueling the growth of the apple tree and, in turn, providing the energy needed for the babe to develop into a toddler, most board-book readers will not begin to grasp the conservation of energy and thermodynamics as the title promises. The companion title, Baby Loves Quantum Physics! tackles an even more abstract concept: Schrödinger’s cat and quantum physics. A different tyke, with a slightly tanner complexion and brown hair, plays with a kitten. When Cat hides in the box, the child imagines the possibility that the feline is either awake or asleep (not, thank goodness, living or dead). As a game of hide-and-seek, the project is delightfully developmentally appropriate, but it takes a leap of huge proportions for this book to successfully explain to a toddler a concept most adults are hard-pressed to understand. While children may enjoy the inviting art in these pages, the concepts, like sun shining in the sky, will be way, way over their heads.
When you break down science into simple concepts, they actually do make interesting and wonderful books to read to young children. Baby Loves Thermodynamics! is accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the transfer of energy as it flows from the sun to an apple to baby. Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well! If you love this title, be sure to check out the follow-up books in the Baby Loves Science series, Baby Loves Aerospace Engineering! and Baby Loves Quantum Physics!