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School Library Journal
At first glance, these books look attractive, but the texts are oversimplified. Air is the weakest offering. It includes an experiment in which children place a glass bowl over a candle: "When the candle has used up the air in the glass, it goes out." This is incorrect; only the oxygen has been used up. Some statements sound awkward, such as, "Air is not nothing." The chapter entitled "How Do We Use Air?" claims: "We also use air to have fun. Scuba divers use tanks of air to dive deep in the ocean." It is more accurate to say that scuba divers need tanks of air in order to breathe underwater. The books on soil and water both pose unanswered questions. Chapter headings ask: "Will We Ever Run Out of Soil?" and "Can We Run Out of Water?" but don't provide clear answers. In some cases, the author fails to explain concepts adequately. Water says that ocean water is salty and that people "need fresh water," but does not explain how fresh water is different from seawater. Skip the title on air; consider the other three if you're desperate for material on a very easy reading level.
—Melinda PiehlerCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.