School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-8-The fact that bears' breath can make interesting science is the premise of this slender volume that packs some solid information amidst the wacky ways of Dr. Mildew and two of his students, Jake and Dina. The good doctor's pet bear allows them to set up an experiment that shows that plants getting a healthy dose of its breath grow better than those that are breath-less. Set up like a mystery and employing the scientific method, the book slings lots of biology and chemistry in a painless manner. The story will tickle the funny bones of most readers, while the information is presented in colorful and clear charts and graphs. There are good questions posed to move it along, and the answers satisfy and entertain as they inevitably raise more inqueries. This is a science book with a hook-and it works.-Steve Matthews, Foxcroft School, Middleburg, VA
Hazel RochmanIn a chatty style, with clear, colorful illustrations and detailed diagrams, this teaches a great deal of complex information about the process of photosynthesis and about the rigor of the scientific process. There's a slight fictional framework: Dina and Jack at science camp get help with their plant project from a clever biology teacher. Unfortunately, the "story" setup may appear condescending to older readers, and that's a pity, because Ross makes some highly technical stuff accessible and exciting with questions and experiments that grow out of daily life. With their teacher, Dina and Jack develop hypotheses and test them out. Their controls and treatments yield "awesome" results. In the process the reader is drawn into learning details of chemistry, physics, and botany, including how energy is released and where air gets its oxygen. Includes a detailed glossary.
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