Monday, September 08, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday Mom Review

I'm busy working on Cybils panels, so Mom drops by for this Non-Fiction Monday with a review of Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Science Facts You'll Never Believe, by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Claudia Davila.

This review was written by Alice Herold.

I love reading and reviewing children's books because I always learn something new. Science on the Loose, by Helaine Becker, is full of fascinating information and science experiments for children ages 8 to 12. (Warning to all classroom teachers: Many of the experiments focus on farts and burps.) I'm trying the experiment about yawning when I substitute teach tomorrow.

Becker begins the book with an explanation of the scientific method in just four simple steps. This explanation is perfect for planning science experiments in the classroom or at home. One of my favorite experiments in Science on the Loose is "Innie or Outie." Did you know that about 90 % of people have an innie (bellybutton)? Are you checking now?

The author includes intriguing facts along with the experiments. Regarding "innies and outies," Becker notes, "Delphi, the holiest site in ancient Greece, was thought to be the world's 'omphalos' which is Greek for navel."

Here's information from the headache section: Did you know, for example, that 30% of the general population suffers from ice cream headaches, but that 90% of migraine sufferers do? The average brain-freeze headache lasts about 5 to 15 seconds and you can get rid of it by warming the roof of your mouth with your tongue.

Illustrator Claudia Davila contributes bright child-friendly illustrations to Science on the Loose, many of them optical illusions. Two lists are included in the back of the book: One defines sixty-some science concepts discussed in the book and the other recommends fifty science experiments for the reader to try.

Science on the Loose: Amazing Activities and Science Facts You'll Never Believe
by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Claudia Davila
Maple Tree Press, 2008
ISBN: 1-8973-4918-2
Suggested Age Range: 8-12

The Monday Non-Fiction roundup is over at Anastasia Suen's
Picture Book of the Day.