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Physics and chemistry

adam_super science matter mattersAdams, Tom Super Science: Matter Matters!
Gr. 4–6    18 pp.    Candlewick/Templar

Illustrated by Thomas Flintham. In this chemistry overview on eight double-page pop-up spreads, readers can explore topics ranging from atoms and elements to water, air, and radioactivity. Some of the movable features creatively present content, such as mini-booklets for scientist profiles and flaps that allow comparisons of molecular structures, while others are somewhat gimmicky. Cartoonlike illustrations and experiment ideas round out the pages.
Subjects: Physics and Chemistry; Matter; Experiments; Scientists; Toy and movable books

pfeffer_light is all around usPfeffer, Wendy Light Is All Around Us
Gr. K–3     40 pp.    HarperCollins/Harper

Illustrated by Paul Meisel. Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. This strong series entry introduces youngsters to light: where it comes from, how fast it travels, and how it enables us to see. The prose is generally lively, but Pfeffer is all business when it comes to scientific explanations. Lighthearted paintings, outlined in pen and ink, add humor but never distract from the text. Three simple experiments are appended.
Subjects: Physics and Chemistry; Light

spilsbury_making soundsSpilsbury, Louise and Spilsbury, Richard Making Noise!: Making Sounds
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Heinemann

Spilsbury, Louise and Spilsbury, Richard Why Can’t I Hear That?: Pitch and Frequency
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Heinemann

Exploring Sound series. The physics of sound, including pitch, frequency, vibration, and speed, are clearly and cleanly explained. The texts are aided by many color photos, diagrams, sidebars, and captions, though some of the spreads are overly busy. Activities (e.g., making a trumpet from a bottle, tube, and paper) are varyingly feasible for a child. Accessibility and an encouraging tone strengthen the presentation. Reading list. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Physics and Chemistry; Sound

walton_let's go to the playgroundWalton, Ruth Let’s Go to the Playground
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Sea to Sea

Let’s Find Out series. This wide-ranging overview uses common playground equipment (swings, slide, merry-go-round) to explore principles such as gravity and centrifugal force. Illustrations that resemble cut-paper and photo collage are accompanied by captioned photos and sidebars, which extend the generally judicious though randomly presented coverage (including the now almost-extinct teeter-totter). A “Design a Playground!” activity is appended. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Physics and Chemistry; Playgrounds

whiting_energyWhiting, Jim Energy
Middle school, high school     48 pp.     Creative Education

Whiting, Jim Gravity
Middle school, high school     48 pp.     Creative Education

Whiting, Jim Light
Middle school, high school     48 pp.     Creative Education

Whiting, Jim Mass & Matter
Middle school, high school     48 pp.     Creative Education

Whiting, Jim Space & Time
Middle school, high school     48 pp.     Creative Education

Mysteries of the Universe series. Intermediate- to advanced-level explanations of physics concepts are described in chronological formats that roughly follow historical advancements scientists contributed to their fields. The numerous full-page illustrations are mainly decorative; diagrams would have been helpful with more complicated content. Text boxes consider science in films, literature, and technological applications. The tiny type can be frustrating. Reading list, websites. Glos., ind.
Subjects: Physics and Chemistry; Energy; Gravity; Light; Mass (Physics); Matter; Space and time

From the January 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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