Gathering in one place the physical-science concepts typically presented to primary children, this is ideal for the youngest...

MOTION, MAGNETS AND MORE

THE BIG BOOK OF PRIMARY PHYSICAL SCIENCE

Mason has crafted what could easily be adopted by primary classrooms as their sole physical-science textbook. 

It is divided into four chapters that start readers off with the easy and familiar and work up to some larger science concepts, introducing and defining proper vocabulary along the way. "Touch It!" has readers exploring the materials that surround them—their composition, texture, mass and properties. In "Build It!," readers learn about various structures: their uses, how they are joined and how they can be strengthened. "Change It!" teaches children about matter and its states, while the final chapter, "Move It!," focuses on forces, motion, gravity and friction. Short sentences, simple vocabulary and only a few paragraphs per page make this accessible for even the youngest of science explorers, while the 19 activities scattered throughout will deepen their understanding and hold their focus. Backmatter is aimed at parents and teachers and features a paragraph of ideas corresponding to each spread of text so that the knowledge can be extended. A table of contents and index are also included. Dávila’s charming digital illustrations depict rosy, round-faced multiethnic children in a variety of settings exploring the world around them. Bright colors and the amusing asides of anthropomorphic animals are sure to keep readers’ interest.

Gathering in one place the physical-science concepts typically presented to primary children, this is ideal for the youngest scientists and explorers, a worthy addition to school and library collections. (Nonfiction. 4-7) 

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-55453-707-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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A simple but effective look at a keystone species.

IF YOU TAKE AWAY THE OTTER

Sea otters are the key to healthy kelp forests on the Pacific coast of North America.

There have been several recent titles for older readers about the critical role sea otters play in the coastal Pacific ecosystem. This grand, green version presents it to even younger readers and listeners, using a two-level text and vivid illustrations. Biologist Buhrman-Deever opens as if she were telling a fairy tale: “On the Pacific coast of North America, where the ocean meets the shore, there are forests that have no trees.” The treelike forms are kelp, home to numerous creatures. Two spreads show this lush underwater jungle before its king, the sea otter, is introduced. A delicate balance allows this system to flourish, but there was a time that hunting upset this balance. The writer is careful to blame not the Indigenous peoples who had always hunted the area, but “new people.” In smaller print she explains that Russian explorations spurred the development of an international fur trade. Trueman paints the scene, concentrating on an otter family threatened by formidable harpoons from an abstractly rendered person in a small boat, with a sailing ship in the distance. “People do not always understand at first the changes they cause when they take too much.” Sea urchins take over; a page turn reveals a barren landscape. Happily, the story ends well when hunting stops and the otters return…and with them, the kelp forests.

A simple but effective look at a keystone species. (further information, select bibliography, additional resources) (Informational picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7636-8934-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2020

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A fun, educational science book that thoughtfully portrays kids of color engaging with and learning from nature and each...

I LOVE INSECTS

From the I Like To Read series

In her latest science-focused picture book, Rockwell offers perspectives from two kids with opposing opinions about insects.

A Black girl with long braids and glasses announces her love of insects while a boy of Asian descent, who drops his sandwich running from two houseflies, says he hates them. Throughout this picture book, which teems with color and motion, the girl focuses on the positives, like their beauty, role as pollinators, and benefits to the soil, as the boy highlights the negatives, like their penchant for stinging, the ugliness of insects like fleas, and the damage some such as aphids do to plants. Readers can decide for themselves whether the two protagonists find some points of agreement. The final double-page spread illustrates all of the insects that appear in the book and invites readers to revisit earlier pages to find them, including butterflies, beetles, bees, a mosquito, a cricket, and more. This informational early reader employs a controlled vocabulary that intentionally repeats words and phrases to facilitate independent reading. Many recognizable insects appear in the book, like the field cricket and the bumblebee, but Rockwell also includes some, such as the little wood satyr butterfly and the cucumber beetle, that will pique curiosity and encourage budding entomologists to explore further to learn about bugs they’ve never met.

A fun, educational science book that thoughtfully portrays kids of color engaging with and learning from nature and each other. (Informational early reader. 4-7)

Pub Date: July 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4759-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2021

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