Part of Picture Window Books' "Amazing Science" series, this book for the library market tries to answer kids' questions about how simple machines work. Included are side bars, fun facts, a glossary, and an activity that builds on the book's lessons. Building on the concept of a simple machine, which is defined as anything that helps people do work, children learn how pulleys help us to lift objects, many of which are too heavy for us to move by hand. But kids also learn that even tiny pulleys play important roles in everyday life, such as those that raise and lower our window blinds and flagpole flags. Even elevators, building cranes, and ships' sails depend on pulleys. The message reinforced here is that pulleys help the world to keep moving. The activity uses pencils and thread spools to create a pulley so that kids can send written messages to each other. The bright, computerized illustrations work nicely with the text to entice young readers to hunker down and dig into the book's concepts.
- Jamaica Johnson Conner
As part of the "Amazing Science" series, this book complements other texts in the series, particularly Tires, Spokes, and Sprockets. Dahl defines pulleys and their uses in construction, homes, flagpoles, sailboats, elevators, and wells. Dahl also provides a suggestion for a fun experiment illustrating the way a pulley works. While reading about the pulley's usefulness regarding flagpoles, the reader will see a brilliant illustration of four different children from four different countries, raising their own country's flags. The countries represented include: Ireland, Jamaica, the United States of America, and Japan; this multicultural addition is a nice touch. As with the other books in the "Amazing Science" series, the following are supplied: a list of fun facts, a glossary, a list of suggested books and websites, an index, and a list of other books in the series. For a child interested in the elements and functions of machinery, or for use in the science classroom, this is a perfect selection.
Michael Dahl is the prolific author of the bestselling Goodnight Baseball picture book and more than 200 other books for children and young adults. He has won the AEP Distinguished Achievement Award three times for his nonfiction, a Teacher's Choice award from Learning magazine, and a Seal of Excellence from the Creative Child Awards. And he has won awards for his board books for the earliest learners, Duck Goes Potty and Bear Says "Thank You!" Dahl has written and edited numerous graphic novels for younger readers, authored the Library of Doom adventure series, the Dragonblood books, Trollhunters, and the Hocus Pocus Hotel mystery/comedy series. Dahl has spoken at schools, libraries, and conferences across the US and the UK, including ALA, AASL, IRA, and Renaissance Learning. He currently lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota in a haunted house.