STEM Friday

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Books

The SLOWEST Book Ever!

slowest book everThe SLOWEST Book EVER

by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Kelly Murphy

176 pages; ages 8-12

Boyds Mills Press, 2016

“Warning!” says the front page, “This is a S-L-O-W book. Do not read it while surfing, water-skiing,  or running to escape giant weasels.” It’s a book so slow that the table of contents lists: two pages “on which to rest your face”… and notes the “excruciatingly slow acknowledgments” at the end. And just to make it longer – and slower – there’s a not-exactly-the-end-notes section with even more stuff to think slowly about.

So what kind of stuff goes into a SLOW book? The sorts of things you’d expect: details about metamorphosis (a slow process), turtles, slow food (yes, that’s a thing), and true “snail mail” – in which messages were transmitted by actual snails.

There are slow activities: watching paint dry, creating slow-motion stories, growing bonsai trees, tai chi.

The structure of the book contributes to the philosophy of SLOW – it’s just the sort of book you don’t read straight through. Instead, you dip into a page or two and read. Then you sit back and drink tea and think a bit. Later, when you get around to it, you read some more.

This is just a plain fun approach to interesting facts about the world around us. Read slowly, you’re bound to learn a few, like how long it takes for a saguaro cactus to grow an inch*. Or the length of time it takes to turn a grape into a raisin**. Fortunately, there’s an index for the less patient of us.

* fifteen years

** three weeks

STEM Friday

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Author: Sue Heavenrich

I write about science and environmental issues for children and their families.

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