Excerpt From
Continuum Encylopedia of Children's Literature
by Nancy Horton, Continuum Encyclopedia of Children's Literature, Letter S, p718-719, 2005

As a husband and wife science writing team that frequently receives awards, the Silversteins have produced over a hundred informational books for all ages. Alvin Silverstein's education includes a B.A. from Brooklyn College in 1955, an M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959, and a Ph.D. from New York University in 1962. Virginia Silverstein obtained an A.B. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. They married in 1958 after meeting while working together in a chemistry lab. One of their six children, Robert, joined them in some of their publications. As young children, both Alvin Silverstein and Virginia Silverstein were avid readers with great thirsts for knowledge. Virginia Silverstein was also involved in languages, which led to her accompanying interest of translating Russian scientific works. Each has worked in diversified areas of related fields. Their first publication as a team was Life in the Universe (1967). The Silversteins have written SERIES BOOKS such as Systems of the Body series and Story of Your. series. They have also collaborated on college texts, nonfiction for adults, and a novel. In addition to explaining topics as varied as pets to diseases, the authors extend their expository passages with supporting features. In Smell the Subtle Sense (1992) the Silversteins not only discuss how smell is the least understood sense, they provide Ann Neumann's drawings and diagrams as well as a bibliography and index. In Steroids: Big Muscles, Big Problems (1992), the Silversteins use terminology easily understood by teenagers supplemented with chapter references, illustrations, and a glossary. Reading audiences find the Silversteins' treatment of complex, scientific information to be clear, concise, and comprehensible.

AWARDS: Children's Book of the Year citations, Child Study Association of America, (1969) for A World in a Drop of Water, and (1972) for The Code of Life, Nature's Defenses, and Nature's Pincushion. Circulatory Systems was named a Science Educators' Book Society Selection. The Outstanding ScienceBooks for Children citation from the National Science Teachers Association and CHILDREN'S BOOK COUNCIL (1972) for The Long Voyage, The Muscular System, The Skeleton System, Cancer, Nature's Pincushion, and Life in a Bucket of Soil, (1973) for Rabbits, (1974) for Animal Invaders and Hamsters, (1976) for Potatoes and Gerbils, (1983) for Heartbeats, (1987) for The Story of Your Foot, (1988) for Wonders of Speech and Nature's Living Lights, and (1990) for Overcoming Acne. Notable Trade Book, National Council for Social Studies and Children's Book Council (1975) for Alcoholism