NONFICTION

Kitchen Chemistry: Cool Crystals, Rockin’ Reactions, and Magical Mixtures with Hands-On Science Activities

Nomad. Mar. 2020. 128p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781619308848.
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Gr 4-8–This science experiment book describes many of the fundamentals of chemistry. From atoms and elements to states of matter and mixtures, the text lays out the basic concepts. Each section includes important words to know, QR codes linked to a website or short videos that further explain ideas mentioned in the text, and brief histories and factoids. Chapters also include a few science experiments that demonstrate the featured concepts. Most of the experiments use common household items. A few suggest adult supervision, but most could be done independently. Each activity poses questions to think about, but only a few explain what is happening and why. Some of the explanations of concepts are confusing. For instance, mixtures, solutions, and pure substances are compared to people in white shirts and black shirts moving around a room while linking arms and bumping into each other. A clearer example would compare a mixture to trail mix; materials can be combined but the individual ingredients can still be separated. Whereas a solution is like cookie dough; once it is mixed together the individual ingredients cannot be extracted.
VERDICT Children will enjoy the hands-on activities but will require companion books on the subject in order to fully understand many of the concepts.

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