Children's LiteratureText and simple experiments introduce readers to sound, pitch, vibration, waves, and other concepts of sound. While the information is straightforward and dry, the illustrations aim for humor. A large-mouthed, unpleasant-looking female character (straight from Mad Magazine) exhorts readers to try making sounds, while also instructing a gray, egg-shaped creature named Igor. Even the typeface is noisy, with bold, black conversation in square balloons alongside the more usual type of narrative. If you can get past the format, the information is useful and children can perform both noisy and subdued experiments. For example, readers can learn how a record works, what frequency is and how it can be seen, and ways that sound engineers produce sound effects. 2000, Millbrook Press. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library JournalGr 2-5-These series entries present science concepts through a series of experiments. The science is accurate, but the illustrations are distracting. In Bangs, unattractive cartoon-styled characters (a big-mouthed, skinny-legged woman and a wisecracking robot) introduce sound and how it works. In Squirts, the duo presents the physics behind water pressure. Home use rather than school is implied and some of the projects could create quite a mess-squirting water out of the mouth, making a squirt gun, a balloon water shooter-and would best be done in the backyard. Others could get very noisy. The materials needed for the experiments are readily available in the average home and the directions are clearly stated and illustrated. These titles lack the charm and effectiveness of Joanna Cole's "Magic School Bus" series (Scholastic). The Frizz still reigns!-Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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