Gr 1-3-This worthy title uses familiar examples and a clear focus to introduce basic scientific concepts. An opening scene shows children playing ball, flying kites, and cooking and eating hot dogs, with a rock on a hill in the background. Bradley explains that inherent in the scenarios are different kinds of energy. She then tells how the kite uses the wind, the rock converts stored energy into moving energy, and so on, and discusses how the greatest source of power, the sun, makes food, fossil fuels, light, heat, and wind. The author intentionally makes this a very general introduction; not even moderately difficult words such as "potential" or "kinetic" are used. A simple experiment and a game are appended. While rolling a toy car into a stationary one and observing the result can be easily done, tracing energy back to the sun will probably need adult guidance. Meisel's color illustrations of cheerful multiethnic children match the level and tone of the text perfectly, make it more comprehensible, and add to the book's appeal. While educational theorists believe that children can't grasp abstractions until at least age seven, younger readers will gain some familiarity with the concept even if they don't really understand it. Larry White's Energy: Simple Experiments for Young Scientists (Millbrook, 1995) offers a more sophisticated and detailed introduction, along with many experiments, for older readers, but Bradley's title is a good first exposure to the subject.-Louise L. Sherman, formerly at Anna C. Scott School, Leonia, NJ Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Explaining sophisticated scientific concepts in terms that are both interesting and understandable is a rare talent. Bradley (Halfway to the Sky, p. 100, etc.) successfully leaps over that bar in this lively exploration of the broad concept of energy, another offering in the venerable Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. She begins with simple examples of different types of energy, introduces the concepts of storage and transference of energy, and then covers various aspects of energy: wind, types of fuels, food, solar power, and the formation of fossil fuels. Two final pages, set in a smaller type size, offer suggestions for simple experiments using toy cars and a reasoning game thinking of the origins of energy sources. The appealing cover illustration by Meisel (Trick or Treat?, p. 1395, etc.) shows a multi-ethnic group of energetic children hopping along in a sack race, and the lively internal illustrations, done in watercolor and ink, show all sorts of energy in motion: a tug-of-war, kites, hot-air balloons, windmills, and kids playing a variety of sports. Attractive endpapers show a lake scene with children and adults enjoying different kinds of boats, all under the warm glow of the sun. Energetically recommended for most library collections. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-9)