An appealing and accessible collection.

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MASON JAR SCIENCE

40 SLIMY, SQUISHY, SUPER-COOL EXPERIMENTS; CAPTURE BIG DISCOVERIES IN A JAR, FROM THE MAGIC OF CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS TO THE AMAZING WORLDS OF EARTH SCIENCE AND BIOLOGY

Forty science-related activities that can be done in a canning jar by young experimenters.

A former editor of FamilyFun magazine introduces his collection of activities with one double-page spread about science and the use of the scientific method to solve mysteries, and another on the advantages of the mason jar: widely available in various sizes, inexpensive and durable, heatproof, transparent, sealable, and often equipped with helpful measuring lines. Like many such compilations of “experiments” these are really demonstrations or ways to concoct a substance with which to experiment. Organized into chapters by study areas—chemistry, earth science, botany, biology, and physics—these relatively simple procedures are clearly presented, most compressed into just a two-page spread. Each offers a short introduction, a list of materials and tools, step-by-step instructions, “What to Watch for,” and “What’s Going on.” Separate text boxes headed with the phrases “Speak Like a Scientist,” “Science in Real Life,” or “Tell Me More” add extra information. Sometimes there are suggestions for variations and further exploration. All are illustrated with photographs, sometimes showing the experiment in progress, often showing middle-grade experimenters diverse in gender and race. There’s making goo (“also known as gack”), growing seedlings, dissolving an egg’s shell, and physics magic using air pressure, among many familiar activities, but the demonstration of the versatility of a mason jar is impressive.

An appealing and accessible collection. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: May 29, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-61212-986-0

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Storey Publishing

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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