Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder

These are my ‘recipes for wonder‘, filled with ideas and instructions to turn anyone into a wondersmith – a grown-up who can foster wonder in both senses of the word, by encouraging children to feel amazement and admiration for the natural world, as well as to ask questions to learn more about it.


‘Several collections of kid-friendly experiments have been published recently, but Mr Shaha’s Recipes for Wonder knocks most into a cocked hat. From a catapult constructed from a Pringles tube to the chemistry of a microwave cupcake, Alom Shaha first dangles an enticing activity, then meticulously – and thrillingly – details the scientific principles behind its operation. Emily Robertson’s glorious illustrations add to the book’s bursting, irresistible sense of excitement.’ — Imogen Russell Williams in The Guardian

‘A charming, accessible way to introduce children to the wonders of scientific research. Every experiment is simple, yet there’s no skimming over the hard facts. I wish I’d had a book like this when I was growing up. I’ll certainly be working my way through it with my son.’ — Angela Saini, mother and author of Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong

‘This book is really brilliant – a great range of kitchen table experiments that have captivated my kids – the illustrations are fantastic.’ — Prof. Alice Roberts, mother, scientist, science writer and broadcaster.

‘If you’ve got young kids and you’d like to introduce them to science but don’t know where to start, the excellent [Mr Shaha] has just written the perfect book for you.’ — Dr. Helen Czerski, scientist, science writer and broadcaster.

‘Many things stimulate the brain in just the right way to increase the odds of being happy: positive interactions with our parents or children, reducing uncertainty through obtaining information, new experiences, creating things. All provoke a subtle but positive response in the typical human brain. As a parent of young children, I found all these things covered by Shaha’s science-based discovery book, which is filled with beautifully illustrated experiments that adults can lead youngsters through.’ — Dean Burnett, dad of two and author of The Happy Brain

‘Full of fun, easy ideas for young scientists to do at home.’ — Gaia Vince, author of Adventures in the Anthropocene

‘Some of us were lucky enough to have that one great teacher who opened their eyes to the fun and beauty of science (thank you, Mr Moss!). But Alom Shaha, and this book, can play that role even for the children who don’t have that stroke of good fortune. It’s fun, clear, and colourful. When my own brats are old enough, I look forward to making a crisp-tin catapult with them.‘ — Tom Chivers

‘Alom Shaha is gentle and persuasive, the type of teacher you would have loved to have had educate you.‘ — The Guardian

‘I love this book. The experiments are fantastic (and so are the pictures), but they’ll also make you think. You’ll want to ask questions, and to try to find out the answers. Which is pretty much all that real scientists do too.’ — Philip Ball, former editor of Nature

‘Full of wonder and delight – this is the perfect recipe for families looking for fun ways to find out more about the universe. Bound to inspire any budding young scientists.’ — Christopher Edge, author of The Many Worlds of Albie Bright

About the book:

Learn about sound by making wine glasses sing, investigate chemical reactions with vitamin-powered rockets, and explore Newton’s Third Law by making balloon-driven cars. All you need are a few simple items from your kitchen cupboards — and the power of curiosity! Every child can be a scientist with the help of Mr Shaha and his Recipes for Wonder.