This guide to objects may leave readers with more questions than answers.
A plethora of common objects—most tangible and one intangible—are examined and their creations or uses are explained to readers. In theory, at least. The initial page presents a key to the flow of information in the book: A dashed line means airflow. Or energy flow. Or liquid flow. A solid line denotes the direction an object will move, a pattern of dots shows air pressure, etc. The guide is a child version of IKEA instructions—so visually simple yet so complex! Inside, toy figurines (of both black and white people) occasionally guide the action, while complex text explains the physics or physical properties of the object in question. The backmatter provides additional information, linked via words set in boldface in the main text, but there is no pronunciation guide for reach words (“filament,” “opaque,” “resistance,” etc.). The items described in the book are common but at times seem to be questionable choices: An incandescent light bulb—labeled “Light Bulb”—is shown and described rather than a compact florescent or an LED, and the energy-efficient models are not mentioned. Readers learn that crayons often get their colors from natural materials such as “slate,” “iron ore,” and the vaguely labeled “minerals” (implying that slate and iron ore are not).
Budding scientists are likely to find the book more confusing than illuminating. (Nonfiction. 8-10)