Science Books & Films' Best Books for Children, 1988-91

By Maria Sosa; Shirley M. Malcolm | Go to book overview

14 Physical Sciences

General Topics

BARKAN JOANNE. Fire, Fire Burning Bright. (Illus. by Heidi Petach; from the First Facts Series). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Silver Press, 1990. 32pp. $4.95. 89-24146. ISBN 0-671-68658-5. C.I.P. K, EP

This attractive juvenile science book is lavishly illustrated. It introduces the young child to the pleasures and dangers of fire, as well as its uses for heat and light. Along the way, some of the scientific properties of fire are also introduced. The author is careful to impress on the child the need for the presence of an adult in performing simple experiments that show the need for oxygen, as well as fuel, in combustion. The illustrations explain historical uses of fire for early humans and modern uses from birthday candles to rocket engines. Safety is emphasized in pictures of forest fires and discussions of procedures in case of a fire in the home. The relationship between fire and light is shown through discussions of fireworks and electricity. The text combines well with the illustrations to help the child understand and enjoy familiar things.-- Deane D. Schloemer, retired, Balmorhea Independent School District, Balmorhea, TX

JENNINGS TERRY. Floating and Sinking. (Illus. by David Anstey; from the Junior Science Series.) NY: Gloucester Press, 1988. 24pp. $10.40. 87-82971. ISBN 0-531-17086-1. Glossary; Index. EI

This book effectively introduces the concepts of density and displacement for 3rd and 4th graders without mentioning either word. The activities described test various materials to see if they float. To show displacement, a metal bottle top is floated, then squashed (with a hammer and adult help) to make it compact and unable to float. The same is shown with a lump of clay shaped into a hull, then squashed into a ball again. Jennings explains that ships are also heavier than water but that they float because they are filled with air, like the bottle cap and the clay hull. Young readers learn that a greater volume of air means more buoyancy, as demonstrated by pushing a soccer ball into a bucket of water, then trying the same with a tennis ball. Also shown is how heavy objects can be made to float with some help, such as from water wings. That floating objects have part of their mass below the water's surface is illustrated by blocks of wood and a picture of an iceberg. The book even demonstrates how salt makes objects float higher. The final activity

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Science Books & Films' Best Books for Children, 1988-91
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction xi
  • Description of Annotations xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • 1 - Agriculture and Veterinary Science 1
  • 2 - Archeology and Paleontology 5
  • 3 - Astronomy and Space Science 21
  • 4 - Biographies 34
  • 5 - Biological Sciences 43
  • 6 - Computers and Information Science 148
  • 7 - Earth Sciences 150
  • 8 - Environmental Sciences 170
  • 9 - General Science 184
  • 10 - History and Geography 200
  • 11 - Mathematics 207
  • 12 - Medical and Health Sciences 210
  • 13 - Museums and Zoos 229
  • 14 - Physical Sciences 234
  • 15 - Social Sciences and Psychology 247
  • 16 - Science/Language Arts Connection 258
  • 17 - Technology and Engineering 263
  • Author Index 274
  • Title Index 281
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