Books by Maria Gordon

DAY AND NIGHT by Maria Gordon
CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

Simple explanations of complicated concepts (nocturnal and diurnal creatures, the rotation of the earth, etc.) are presented with colorful cartoons. But unlike the Gordons' recent Fun with Color (p. 945), this book, for the same age group, is not as successful. The language is imprecise and often ambiguous, and the suggested activities are impractical. Children are encouraged to ask adults to make a chart of the sun's course during the day. ``Do this on summer and winter days. The sun seems lower in winter.'' No guidance is given on how the chart is to be made or data recorded; it's unlikely that children will follow through with a six-month comparison. Elsewhere, the author states, ``Sunlight lets you know that it is day. Blind people's eyes do not work. They use special clocks to tell them when it is day or night.'' Such sentences will be a little bald for some readers and just plain misleading for others. (further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 5-7) Read full book review >
FUN WITH COLOR by Maria Gordon
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 1995

Two entries in the Simple Science series, both delightful, comprehensible, essential works for the youngest readers. The Gordons help parents satisfy childrens' endless curiosity about simple phenomena such as what makes a rainbow (Color) and what makes us warm (Fun With Heat, ISBN: 1-56847-438-5; paper 500- 4). Child-friendly, colorful illustrations complement the text, which provides just enough information to clarify the principles behind color and heat. Readers learn why it is hotter at the equator than at the poles, how heat moves, why animals are different colors, etc. Simple experiments are interspersed throughout, reinforcing the concepts with hands-on learning. Adults can refer to the ``Additional Projects'' and ``Other Books to Read'' sections for more ideas. Writer and illustrator understand how young readers think and how to tantalize them with facts. (Nonfiction. 4-7) Read full book review >