The Science Spell Book: Magical Experiments for Kids

Sourcebooks/Explore. Jul. 2022. 224p. pap. $16.99. ISBN 9781728232522.
Gr 3-6–In this unique approach to science, Florance attempts to capture readers’ sense of wonder about the natural world and combine it with a scientific explanation of how these wonders occur. In this way, excitement and explanation are joined. The book is combined into five sections—infusions (pH and indicators), illumination (light), sorcery (forces), alchemy (physical and chemical changes), and mimicry (biology-inspired engineering). Each section contains several activities for children to try out and observe, many of which require several materials and adult supervision. The activities are introduced with a magical spell for readers to chant, some information about the “magical” history involved, colorful photos, and the science involved. For example, the section on infusions begins with a brief historical look at plants as medicine, an explanation of how acids and bases can cause chemical changes, and a chant along, with directions for making a blue tea that changes color when an edible acid is added. The author’s knowledge and enthusiasm are evident throughout, and the detailed layout will keep readers engaged. The many activities provided are interesting and doable, but they vary in difficulty and amount of materials needed.
VERDICT This is an appealing resource to encourage children, parents, teachers, and librarians to explore, enjoy, and celebrate science.

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