Ear-Splitting Sounds and Other Vile Noises

9780778709251. ea vol: 32p. (Disgusting and Dreadful Science Series). chart. diag. glossary. illus. index. photos. websites. Crabtree. 2013. lib. ed. $27.60; pap. $9.95.
Gr 4–6—These brief and lively introductions provide a plethora of fun and gross facts. Sounds explains the science behind sound, how ears work, ultrasound, and more. It also includes a scientific explanation of how whoopee cushions work. Shocks covers electrical current, circuits, lightning, etc. In both volumes, each subject is presented on a spread with a brief introduction. The explanations are clear and concise. The layout is open and features color photographs, diagrams, and/or images on every page. Text boxes labeled "Ouch!" highlight painful facts, those labeled "Yuck!" share disgusting ones, and boxes designated with "Yikes!" contain interesting tidbits. "See for Yourself" sections offer simple activities related to the topic. For example, in Shocks, readers are encouraged to statically charge a blown balloon by rubbing it on their hair. A safety warning is included in the section that addresses Ben Franklin and electricity, discouraging students from attempting to fly a kite during a thunderstorm. The lists of places to visit in both titles contain locations in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Glossary words are set apart in bold font in the text.—Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA

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