Gross Science Experiments: 60 Smelly, Scary, Silly Tests To Disgust Your Friends and Family

Page Street. Oct. 2020. 160p. pap. $19.99. ISBN 9781645671145.
Gr 3-5–The activities in this title are grouped into chapters: “Blood and Brains,” “Baffling Bodies,” “Stinky Smells,” “Joking Around,” “Disgusting Diseases,” “Gross Foods,” “All About the Poo,” “Bugs and Grubs,” and “Gross History.” Each section provides facts and background information. The double-page spreads feature clear photos, which depict youngsters making the item (many with squeamish or disgusted looks on their faces), a close-up of the finished product, or the ingredients. The photos depict predominantly white children. The text includes brief paragraphs that share scientific information, followed by an ingredients list and simple instructions. “Challenge” and “Did You Know?” boxes provide additional information. There are a variety of visually repulsive experiments: Make a scab, bug bath bombs, a representation of skin using Jell-O and some candies, or carve an apple to create a shrunken head. A few are edible; some are not. Guidelines on being careful about using heat or items that are unsafe are mentioned at the beginning. Difficult activities feature an icon and warning to indicate adult supervision is needed. A three-page index is included. While this text is fun, other similar titles, such as Julie Huffman’s 101 Ways To Gross Out Your Friends, offer more kid appeal.
VERDICT Libraries should purchase if they have a niche to fill.

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