Magical science that’s amazing, astounding, and sure to appeal to middle-grade and middle school readers.

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SCIENCE STUNTS

FUN FEATS OF PHYSICS

Showman Dr. Dazzleberry and his friends Galileo, Newton, and Einstein demonstrate and explain 25 astonishing science tricks.

In seven engaging chapters, this collection of science explorations spotlights traditional physical phenomena: gravity, motion, heat, magnets, sound, light, and electricity. Clear instructions for each demonstration are laid out like a recipe, with a list of easily obtainable necessary materials and step-by-step directions. These are followed by “The Science Behind the Stunt,” humorously explained in a simple but usually accurate first-person narration from one of the scientists. Some tricks are very easy; others require more time and practice and, occasionally, the supervision of an "adult sidekick." Other precautionary measures suggested include fully reading directions and wearing eye protection or glasses and washing hands where appropriate. Some projects may be familiar, but others are likely to be new and intriguing. Not every trick will work the first time, Dr. Dazz reminds his readers. Sometimes trial and error as well as practice are necessary. Sidebars add extra information sure to appeal to intended readers, such as an after-Halloween Punkin Chunkin contest in Delaware and a rock band made up of deaf musicians. Helpful cartoonlike illustrations feature a diverse cast including the African-American Dr. Dazz, whose showmanship is only exceeded by his sense of humor.

Magical science that’s amazing, astounding, and sure to appeal to middle-grade and middle school readers. (biographies, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62354-064-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Imagine Publishing

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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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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