First in a new line of science books, this high-energy pop-up takes a hands-on approach to physics. The text explains such concepts as force, gravity, friction, sound waves, light, and magnetism. On air pressure: “Although you can’t see them, air is made up of particles called molecules, each weighing a very small amount.” Cartoons, pop-ups, mini-books, flaps, tabs, and sidebars further elaborate on the various topics, and numerous experiments encourage further exploration and scrutiny. Ages 7–11. (Sept.)
First in a new line of science books, this high-energy pop-up takes a hands-on approach to physics.
The eye-catching cover of this medium-size book for elementary age children has small brightly-colored illustrations on a black background framed in red that may possibly lure a few unsuspecting comic book readers to discover a clever introduction to the sciences; but, more probably, this excellent book will be recommended to early budding scientists by teachers and librarians. The written material is clear and fun to read, the illustrations are lively and amusing; but its real topic, as revealed on the back cover, is physics in bite-size bits! Entertaining movables such as wheels, flaps, pull-tabs, and pop-ups all help in understanding much of the material. The reader will see and learn why an ice-skater can move so smoothly over the ice! Answer: the heat caused by the friction of the skates against the ice creates a thin layer of water the skates glide upon. On another page there is a string to pluck to understand how a guitar makes music. Some of the topics covered include force; friction; simple machines; resistance in both air and water; pressure (which has an outstanding pop-up), sound; light; electricity and magnetism. The topic is science and reading about it in this book is fun. Young readers will appreciate the message on the last page, which states with certainty that everything in our world has not already been discovered and good physicists will still be needed for a long time. Reviewer: Eleanor Heldrich
Children's Literature - Eleanor Heldrich
A quick and cheery tour of physical science, animated both by bright cartoon illustrations and a variety of pop-ups and moving parts. With an appropriately kinetic mix of colors and visual angles, easily digestible blocks of commentary combine with an array of sliders, pull tabs, 3-D items, flaps and glued-in minibooks. Each spread covers a force or phenomenon from friction and pressure to light, magnetism and electricity. Along with short but coherent explanations of general principles, Adams tucks in introductions to four significant scientists of the past and also an occasional easy-to-reproduce demonstration. An elastic band on the "Sound" spread won't last long and some flaps (which also tend not to last long when young children are around) have significant passages of text printed on them, but overall the features are cleverly designed. A squirt gun shoots a column of paper "water," a Frankenstein's monster comes to life with the pull of a tab and a schematic electric circuit will either "light" a bulb or fail to if interrupted by an insulating ducky. The presentation as a whole offers a painless dose of physics for either total novices or older readers in need of a refresher. A fragile but engaging look at "the science of how stuff…interacts with energy."
(Pop-up nonfiction. 8-10)