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FORCES MAKE THINGS MOVE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & illustrated by Paul Meisel

Age Range: 5 - 9

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-028906-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Simple language and appealing illustrations combine to elucidate the tricky concept of force in this solid Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out offering. Bradley’s narrative builds in complexity from the simple to the sophisticated to discuss reciprocal forces, friction and gravity—including a nicely comprehensible explanation of the gravitational force that exists between any two objects, not just the earth’s. The reader takes the position of experimenter with a direct second-person address, using universally kid-friendly examples to illustrate Newtonian physics: “If you push a toy car, it pushes back against you with the exact same force. . . . If you push the toy car, your force makes the car start moving. So if the toy car is also pushing you, why don’t you start moving? Because you are so much heavier than a toy car.” Meisel’s happily multicultural cartoon cast of kids puts toy cars, real cars and big brothers through a variety of scenarios, in a visually harmonious accompaniment to the text. A concluding spread introduces an activity that will allow kids to test differing amounts of friction—using toy cars, of course. (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)