Friday, December 29, 2017

Review: Home Sweet Home by Mia Cassany

Kids will have their imaginations captured by this beautiful, non-fiction picture book that looks at home from around the world. Home from Home celebrates the wide diversity of living quarters people around the world live in.
Find out who lives in a Brooklyn brownstone or a Tokyo apartment! What about a London townhouse, or a cabin in Reykjavik?
Up and coming talent Paula Blumen illustrates all of these great views of home. There’s never been a better time to remember the importance of home for everyone.

I really enjoyed this book. To be honest, I actually thought this would have minimal text and would be suited to my son who is just learning to read. It turns out, it's more suited to somewhere in between early readers and middle grade readers. However, the topics and the illustrations make this book work for kids of any age.

I love the concept of this book. I was surprised to find that there were a lot of places (17) included in the book. Some were in the US, Canada, and Mexico; several in Europe, and three in Asia. The houses were of different styles and sizes, and the places they were in ranged from cities to suburbs to small villages.

What makes this book unique is the voices in the narration belong to pets living in those areas. There are different pets too. While most are dogs and cats, some of the pets narrating included a tortoise and a bird.

I really liked the illustration style used in the book. The colors were very beautiful and vibrant as well. It makes every location feel like a place you would want to live in, or at least visit for a while.

People don't have fur, though, so the roofs of the houses are covered in grass to keep them warm. 


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Review: 365 Weird & Wonderful Science Experiments by Elizabeth Snoke Harris

This fact- and fun-filled book includes hundreds of simple, kid-tested science experiments. All of which can be done with items from around the house, and require little to no supervision!

Whether you're making your own slime, rockets, crystals, and hovercrafts or performing magic (science!) tricks and using science to become a secret agent, this book has something for every type of curious kid. Each experiment features safety precautions, materials needed, step-by-step instructions with illustrations, fun facts, and further explorations.

With this book, you will:
- Create a drinkable rainbow
- Make a bowling bowl float
- Capture a cloud
- Build furniture out of newspapers
- Blow bouncing bubbles that don’t burst
- Plus 360 other weird and wonderful experiments.

At once engaging, encouraging, and inspiring, 365 Weird & Wonderful Science Experiments is every budding scientists go-to, hands-on guide for learning the fundamentals of science and exploring the fascinating world around them.

I am always on the lookout for interesting science books, since my son has shown an inclination to science, and I would love to nurture that.

This book certainly fit the bill. The variety of experiments was very impressive to me. For example, there were your usual science experiments (rockets, etc.), then there were cooking experiments, outdoor experiments, and magic tricks. Seriously, there's something here for everyone. Sure, there are several experiments here that you've probable tried or at least seen before, but kids and adults, even those who are only a little bit interested in science, will still have a ton of fun with this book.

Why am I so confident? Because I spotted several cool experiments like making a lava lamp, creating different kinds of ink (hot invisible ink, glowing ink, etc.), and the tea bag rocket. My personal favorite, though, is the food scrap garden because I've been meaning to start a food garden for awhile now and seeing the process here makes it seem so easy to do.

Most of the experiments don't need a lot of items, and most are easy to find or which you probably already have at home. The steps are easy to follow, even if there's at most only two small illustrations for each experiment. For most of the experiments, there are also explanations and occasionally, there are "What If?" scenarios to get you thinking. The pages are also colorful, which is a huge plus for me.

The water crawls up the tiny gaps in the fibers of the paper towel. This is the same method plants use to get water from their roots to the tips of their leaves.


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Inside Out Human Body: Explore the World's Most Amazing Machine! by Luann Columbo

What do you think is the most amazing machine in the universe? A superconductor? The modern computer? A rocket ship? Think again: It’s the human body!
Astonishingly intricate and complex, your body grows, heals itself, and performs a mind-boggling number of complex functions all at the same time! Discover the amazing human body, system by system and layer by layer, in this fascinating book.
Inside Out: Human Body takes you on an incredible journey through the powerful muscular system, the "bone zone," the long and windy road of the digestive system, the blood-pumping circulatory system, the forty-seven-mile long nervous system, and beyond! A unique layered model of the human body serves as the center point of each section, revealing key body parts and functions, while entertaining and informative text explains how the body works.
Each section is fully illustrated with colorful diagrams and includes fun, interactive lessons for you to try yourself. You can learn how to take your own pulse, how to make your arms float, and even what the color of your urine means! Sometimes the most incredible wonders are right under our noses.

This is my favorite book in the series.

I already learned all the trivia in the book during college, but I still enjoyed reviewing it. There are really good analogies here that make it easier to understand concepts. I liked that aside from facts, there are try-this activities. It makes it easier for people to retain knowledge when they get to learn by doing.

The information in the book is a little advanced, so it's best for pre-teens and teens in junior high and high school. Younger kids can still appreciate the illustrations and diagrams, though.

I wondered near the start why the diagrams were only half. As it turns out, it was half because the book is divided by system, and that particular system had several pages devoted to it. That system is the skeletal system, and those pages were quite worth it because it included explanations on things like how bones heal when they are broken. There were also other systems that were two pages each.

It's a really good book, and my only real quibble with it is that the background color for the digestive system is dark and the font color is black so it's hard to read the text.

My son is too young to retain most of the terms in the book, but he is familiar with most body parts and he had fun looking at the pictures in the book.

I pointed out the internal organs and tried my best to simplify the functions of each in an effort to explain it to him, and he seemed to understand it. At the very least, he was fascinated by it, so this is definitely a book I can see us reading again and again until he is old enough to read and understand it on his own.

Your body absorbs nutrients like sponge soaks up water. Sugar molecules are like small drops of water, and proteins and starches are like large puddles. Your body can absorb the smaller sugar molecules quickly. But energy from sugar is also used up quickly. 


Note: This post contains Amazon and Book Depository affiliate links.
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