I really like the drawings used to explain conduction, convection, and radiation. They make the differences very clear to my eight and eleven-year-olds. The fire safety and planning escape routes sections are good, too. My kids enjoyed sliding down the power pole right next to our balcony as they escaped during a drill! (How would you get out in a fire?) Both harmful and helpful forms of fire are discussed. Forest fires can destroy houses, but they enable lodgepole pines and other trees to sprout. Fire in your home can light your living room and cook your food or burn it down. A unique aspect of this book extends the study of fire up to the sky and includes meteorites! Activity ideas are also outlined. Part of the "Living Science" series. 2000, Gareth Stevens Publishing, $14.95. Ages 5 to 10. Reviewer: J. Cook SOURCE: Parent Council Volume 8
This informative book about fire is part of a "Living Science" series of basic science books created for young readers. All the books in the series follow the same basic framework. The first chapter, "What Do You Know about Fire?" presents an overview of the subject. The middle chapters cover many different aspects, including the history of fire, the ingredients of a fire, how fire gives warmth, forest fires and fires in the sky. The final chapters describe careers related to the topic and relevance of the topic to the reader. Also described are careers in firefighting, welding and glass blowing, along with fire safety and favorable fires. The final page of the book includes a glossary, an index and related web sites for the benefit of researchers and report writers. The book also contains activities, puzzles and suggestions for further research to suit the interactive readers in the audience. The inclusion of so many different aspects of fire will attract older, more fire-wise readers to this well-written book. Photographs, drawings, charts and good, basic information will satisfy less knowledgeable readers as well. 2000, Gareth Stevens, $19.93. Ages 8 to 14. Reviewer: Judy Katsh
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-These series entries present a scattering of basic facts about very broad topics. The attempt to cover so much ground at a simple level has mixed results. In two-page segments, Fire introduces the chemical basics as well as fire fighting, conservation issues, and uses. The narrative jumps abruptly at times. The discussion of fire's ingredients, for example, though not inaccurate, is choppy and difficult to follow. Underwater Life offers only three brief paragraphs about life cycles, highlighting amphibians and whales. In the spread on underwater plants, only algae, phytoplankton, and sea grass are mentioned. In both titles, the result is a hit-or-miss collection of mildly interesting, but not fully cohesive bits of information. The vocabulary is generally simple, with short, terse sentences that are easy to understand but also fairly dull. Simple activities, such as creating friction by rubbing hands together (Fire) or listening to recordings of whale sounds (Underwater Life), are included, along with shaded boxes that pose questions, such as "Does anything eat killer whales?" with explanations. Each spread features several full-color photographs or diagrams. Readers already interested in these topics may find something intriguing here, but the unwieldy presentation prevents these books from being first choices.-Steven Engelfried, Deschutes County Library, Bend, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.