From the Publisher
"Adler shows his customary skill for explicating mathematical concepts in this smart exploration of floatation and density."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This title supports the Common Core State Standards that focus on measurement skills, interpretation of data, and incorporation of key ideas and details in the text. Recommended for math collections in public and school libaries and classroom shelves."-School Library Journal
★"It's rare to find a picture book that uses simple, hands-on activities so successfully, leading young children to a fuller understanding of a scientific concept."
Booklist, Starred Review
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
A large boat weighing thousands of pounds and filled with a whole crowd of people floats, but a small pebble tossed from that boat sinks. Adler proceeds to explain this strange phenomenon. He does this with clear descriptions and suggested experiments describing density. He asks readers to fill a sink partway with water and drop things into it. A penny, a marble, and a toy car will sink. An empty pail, an apple, and a half full water bottle will float. A piece of aluminum foil formed into a loose ball floats, but when that loose ball is crushed into a tight ball, it sinks. Water is heavy, with a cubic foot weighing about sixty-two pounds. Things with a lower density, meaning things that weigh less than sixty-two pounds per cubic foot, will float. A lump of clay sinks, but that lump molded into the shape of a boat floats. The same is true for the steel used in making large boats. The density difference between clear water and salt water is also explained. The illustrations in this large format book feature a family and a dog participating in the various experiments and are an aid in understanding this complex topic. A good choice for curious youngsters. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.; Ages 6 to 8.
Adler shows his customary skill for explicating mathematical concepts in this smart exploration of floatation and density. Several experiments allow for a hands-on approach: Adler suggests filling a sink with water and testing whether different objects float, as well as using modeling clay to demonstrate how shape is as important a factor as density. Raff’s pastel palette and cheerful characters keep the mood light and pair well with Adler’s explanations, which are clear without being dauntingly technical. Along with Lynne Berry and Matthew Cordell’s What Floats in a Moat? (reviewed Apr. 29), readers will be well-prepared when it comes to displacement and density this fall. Ages 4–7. Author’s agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—This introduction to density offers new vocabulary in bold font, delightful soft-hued illustrations, and clearly focused content on flotation. The strong examples provide extension activities that can be done at home or in the classroom. The images enhance the concept as readers meet a boy, a girl, and their dog as they embark on an adventure to discover what will float and what won't. For example, a spread depicting how density is relative to the size of the object shows the dog looking over a kitchen sink full of water as a piece of aluminum foil floats as a loose ball and sinks as a tight one. This title supports the Common Core State Standards that focus on measurement skills, interpretation of data, and incorporation of key ideas and details in the text. Recommended for math collections in public and school libraries and classroom shelves.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI
A boy, a girl and a dog demonstrate that things float in water when they are less dense than the water around them. Adler, who has demystified math for young readers for years in titles ranging from Roman Numerals (1977) to Millions, Billions, and Trillions (2013) turns his attention to physics with this simple but effective explanation of principles of flotation and density. His clear, logical text invites readers to experiment with different objects, to shape boats, and to make both ice and salt water mixtures. Raff's illustrations take this invitation further, showing a pair of children using toy boats, plastic bottles, pennies, aluminum foil, clay and ice to discover what things float and why. These digitally combined ink washes and drawings add interest and some humor, supporting and enriching the text, except on one page. There, a line showing the water level of a bottle to which salt has been added seems to show that the water level has risen though the author makes clear that the level should not change. Curiously, the series of experiments stops at that point rather than continuing with the denser salt water, as good teachers would encourage children to do. This appealing introduction can serve as a springboard for further investigations. (Informational picture book. 5-8)