Once Upon an Atom introduces science and how fundamental it is to, well everything! Through simple verse Carter introduces the branches of science: Chemistry, Physics and Biology and within each of these fields, key concepts and vocabulary such as chemical reactions, atoms, gravity and evolution. Scientists are refreshingly introduced as people trying to see the world ‘anew’. Their understanding begins with curiosity and asking questions, a subtle invitation to young readers to be curious about the world around them is made explicit towards the back of the book with the suggestion they could become scientists themselves.
The illustrations are bold and striking, the big bang and fireworks explode across the page, electricity crackles and skeletal images of animals emphasise the effect of the invention of X-rays. A dramatic page layout adds to the impact. More terminology and information about famous scientists and early inventions is included in an acrostic at the back of the book.
This book continues the popular series from poet James Carter which gave us Once upon a Star, a poetic journey through space and Once upon a Raindrop, the story of water.