HEAD TO TOE SCIENCE

OVER 40 EYE-POPPPING, SPINE-TINGLING, HEART-POUNDING ACTIVITIES THAT TEACH KIDS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY

Science teacher Wiese (Cosmic Science, not reviewed) is back with 40 quick and often intriguing science puzzles and activities to promote understanding of the human body. Activities are grouped in body systems: Brain and nervous system; Senses, Digestive; Respiratory; Circulatory; Muscular, Skeletal, Reproductive and the Skin. For each section Wiese gives an introduction and a series of projects and experiments. He lists materials, procedures, provides an explanation of what happened, and often gives “more fun stuff to do.” Most projects and experiments require only a few minutes and items easily found in the kitchen: straws, plastic soda bottles, paper plates, ruler, balloons, bread, and scissors. Drawings show boys and girls having fun with science. Some activities are more crafts than science: in “Blood and Gore,” children make a batch of “fake blood,” from white corn syrup, corn starch, and soy sauce. The fake-blood project continues, creating a cocoa and petroleum jelly scab. Later the author explains the real components of blood. Sometimes the explanations are less than satisfactory. In “Bony Blocks,” he has the reader balance a book on a toilet-paper roll set on its side and standing on end. This, he explains, shows a hollow tube is almost as strong as a solid rod. However, whether the roll is on its side or on its end, it is still a hollow tube. There is a lot here to engage curious young people. The index was not seen. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 2000

ISBN: 0-471-33203-8

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Wiley

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2000

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both.

FLASH FACTS

Flash, Batman, and other characters from the DC Comics universe tackle supervillains and STEM-related topics and sometimes, both.

Credited to 20 writers and illustrators in various combinations, the 10 episodes invite readers to tag along as Mera and Aquaman visit oceanic zones from epipelagic to hadalpelagic; Supergirl helps a young scholar pick a science-project topic by taking her on a tour of the solar system; and Swamp Thing lends Poison Ivy a hand to describe how DNA works (later joining Swamp Kid to scuttle a climate-altering scheme by Arcane). In other episodes, various costumed creations explain the ins and outs of diverse large- and small-scale phenomena, including electricity, atomic structure, forensic techniques, 3-D printing, and the lactate threshold. Presumably on the supposition that the characters will be more familiar to readers than the science, the minilectures tend to start from simple basics, but the figures are mostly both redrawn to look more childlike than in the comics and identified only in passing. Drawing styles and page designs differ from chapter to chapter but not enough to interrupt overall visual unity and flow—and the cast is sufficiently diverse to include roles for superheroes (and villains) of color like Cyborg, Kid Flash, and the Latina Green Lantern, Jessica Cruz. Appended lists of websites and science-based YouTube channels, plus instructions for homespun activities related to each episode, point inspired STEM-winders toward further discoveries.

Contentwise, an arbitrary assortment…but sure to draw fans of comics, of science, or of both. (Graphic nonfiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-77950-382-4

Page Count: 160

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Outstanding suspense.

WILDFIRE

WHEN TREES EXPLODE

A boy, a girl, a venerable Jeep, and a massive wildfire sweeping across the mountains of Maine. It’s the perfect setup for a riveting tale of high suspense.

Sam and Delphy are staying at separate summer camps on the same lake when the threat of a wildfire forces evacuation—but both are inadvertently left behind. Using the survival skills he learned from his deceased father, Sam hikes cross-country until he finds a remote cabin and the old Jeep that will prove to be his salvation. Only later, barreling along a narrow logging road, does he encounter Delphy. With shades of My Side of the Mountain for a modern audience, 2010 Newbery Honoree Philbrick (The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg) provides the pair of young adolescents, both white, with just enough modern technology to keep the tale credible. It will take all of their courage and wits to survive being lost in the wilderness, even as they are constantly threatened both by the erratic fire and the danger posed by two out-of-control arsonists. Sam’s pithy first-person voice is self-deprecating enough to be fully believable and plays nicely against Delphy’s sometimes less confident but heroically determined character. Short chapters, outstanding cover art, and a breathless pace make this a fine choice for reluctant readers. Interesting backmatter regarding wildfires and survival tips rounds out a thrilling tale.

Outstanding suspense. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-26690-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Blue Sky/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more