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Children's LiteratureIn this amusing book of experiments, Jim Wiese inspires children to find out more about the world of science oddities. The introduction explains how to use the book, rules for being a good scientist, and how to use the experiments in the book as science fair projects. Chapter one, "Weird Substances," contains experiments that have to do with slime, quicksand, and even lava lamps. Chapter two, "Weird Plants," describes experiments with potatoes, carnivorous plants, and cacti. Chapter three, "Weird Animals," does not actually use animals in the experiments, but shows children the principles behind electric eels, mudskippers, and various insects. Chapter four, "Weird Microbes," describes experiments involving bacteria (with plenty of admonitions for children to "wash their hands!"). Chapter five, "Weird Weather," shows children how to make mini-weather systems of storms, lightning, and tornados. Chapter six, "Weird Earth," explains how to simulate geysers and weird caves. Chapter seven, "Weird Sights," describes mirages, optical illusions, and the Aurora Borealis. Chapter eight, "Weird Sounds," explains how to conduct experiments with dog whistles and Aeolian sounds. Chapter nine, "Weird Physics," while it deals with complex ideas such as relativity, provides children with a good basis for understanding these issues when they move to higher science. There is also a very thorough glossary to aid children in understanding the principles behind these fascinating experiments. 2004, John Wiley & Sons, Ages 8 up.
—Amie Rose Rotruck