Part of "A True Book" series, Taylor-Butler introduces the concept of matter changing states. Her explanation is straightforward and clear: "The molecules in a solid are held together by a strong bond. A solid holds its shape. Its volume does not change. Liquid molecules can slide around...Gas molecules have very weak bonds. They are free to move away from each other." She goes on to explain that matter can change from one state to another, but only when something breaks the bonds. As with the other books in this series, the introduction includes a description of the scientific method. The experiments shown are easy to do, though there are parts that need a bit of adult supervision (which the book points out). My complaint with these experiments is the same as with the other books in the series. She does not encourage the young scientist to undertake multiple trials. This omission is unfortunate and has to be unlearned later as students work on more complicated projects. The book is illustrated with colorful photos showing both the experiments in process and the young scientists working on them. Backmatter includes a list of resources, glossary and index.
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—A new subset of a key series, these latest titles do not meet the expectation of solid reliability. Each brightly designed book contains directions for demonstrations or experiments (requiring modest expenditures for materials and equipment) and boilerplate introductions to the scientific method, proper techniques, background information, and safety advice. Small but clear color photos show scientists in the field, relevant items or forces at work, and children performing each activity. Unfortunately, some projects come with badly stated hypotheses ("A plant will be able to grow if part of its root is cut off") or poor design (such as a demonstration of momentum that assumes a skateboard will roll straight down a narrow board), and the "True Statistics" included in every volume contain moot tallies, such as "number of permanent magnets in your home or car: 50."