Have you heard of Tu Youyou? She is a Chinese scientist who used traditional Chinese medicine to help cure malaria. And she was not from the 1800s or even early 20th century when we think of malaria research happening, but she was working during the late 1960s and 1970s in a People’s Republic of China task force. Therefore, relatively “new” in the grand picture. And not only did she and other scientists figure out the right ingredients, amounts, heat, and such, she was one of the first women and first Chinese women to win a Nobel Prize.
And in Fever: How Tu Youyou Adapted Traditional Chinese Medicine to Find a Cure for Malaria by Darcy Pattinson, you will learn all the above and more. You will also see all this unfold with the illustrations of Peter Willis. They are cartoony, amusing and while you know what they represent, they have the aura of a child-like drawing. This colorful, medium detailed look allows a serious subject to accessible and not overwhelming.
Looking at a subject (malaria) few probably know little about (due to the assumption that it was “ancient history”) and a scientist few might now of, you are introduced to a world of science in an almost all ages picture book.
I might not be a fan of the art, but I do appreciate the work that goes into it, and I am assuming that their images will work on the other subjects Pattinson and Willis have collaborated on. Therefore, I would go for the more expensive hardcover edition for your school/classroom library, but the paperback is just as exciting.