A first introduction to magnets of both the simple and “on and off” sorts, with basic demonstrations of what they can do.
Unfortunately, Adler’s opening observation that magnets are attracted to “anything made of iron, steel, nickel or cobalt and some less plentiful metals, including neodymium and samarium” may repel more readers than it attracts. After this, he shifts to a level of discourse so basic that the difference between geographical and magnetic north goes unremarked. Then, amid various demos involving magnets and paper clips or iron filings (the latter “available at most hardware stores”), he presents more or less the same instructions twice for determining which pole is which on a bar magnet—and includes a vague warning to remove any nearby item “made of iron, steel, nickel or cobalt” (like what?) so as not to “confuse the magnet.” Raff follows suit with very simply drawn illustrations featuring a pair of dark-skinned children performing the experiments in a household setting (as dad vacuums a rug in the background—OK, points there), but in such a schematic way that the homemade electromagnet’s wire wrapping doesn’t touch the core nail.
Not much here to attract interest—particularly as clearer, more carefully written primers on the topic abound. (index, glossary) (Informational picture book. 6-8)