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The tricks are definitely not for performing and in fact there is little if any difference among the activities divided here into puzzles (can you see yourself blink in a mirror? Can you hear with your teeth?), toys (a paper flower that blooms in water. . . a folded paper fan. . . a newspaper ""ghost"" that sticks to the wall when you rub it) and tricks (listen to the sound in a paper cup. . . drop a dirty penny into some vinegar and salt). Many of the items could be useful in helping children understand specific scientific concepts, but White merely throws them all together in no particular order and never does explain what they are supposed to illustrate. The statement he makes about each trick (or whatever) either fail to draw any conclusion at all beyond ""you cannot see the top of your nose,"" ""you can hear your friend's heart through a bottomless paper cup"" or ""salt is heavier than papper"" or else fail to relate the generalizations (""things heavier than water sink. . . water sticks to itself. . . like magic, soap makes the water drops break"") to any basic principles. And of course there are numerous science experiment books at this level that do both.

Pub Date: March 15th, 1975
Publisher: Addison-Wesley