Kid Lit Review of “How To Make A Universe With 92 Ingredients” by Adrian Dingle

This is an incredibly fun and informative way to teach kids (and adults) about chemistry. It includes narrative, lots of vivid illustrations, and experiments to demonstrate how all things are made from just 92 chemical elements.


Each two-page spread has a clever title, like “I’m Gonna Make You A Star” and “Dish the Dirt on Soap.” On the latter page, you learn what soap is made of, what scum means (a way to talk about hard water), and how to make elephant toothpaste!

You’ll also find out about why the fizz in soda is worse for your teeth than sugar, how fireworks are made in different colors, how tall buildings stand up, and why salt helps make ice cream. (And yes, one of the learning experiments is a recipe for ice cream!)

At the end of the book, there is a glossary (“Cool Words”) and a list of resources, including websites, for further study. It also includes an awesome periodic table poster on the inside of the book jacket.


Evaluation: I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s guaranteed to keep children entertained and fascinated. I should add that I happen to have some children in my life who covet this book, but I love it too much to give it up. I do, however, share the experiments with them. Guess I’ll have to buy them their own for Christmas….

Rating: 5/5

Published in the UK by Scholastic Ltd, 2010 (I heard about how good it was, but couldn’t find it in the library or local bookstores, and had to order it online.)

Budding scientists at work on the Table Top Volcano experiment

Budding scientists at work on the Table Top Volcano experiment


About rhapsodyinbooks

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5 Responses to Kid Lit Review of “How To Make A Universe With 92 Ingredients” by Adrian Dingle

  1. That looks like a fun one!

  2. This looks like an excellent book! It would be perfect for at least a couple of my nieces.

  3. I love books that make learning fun!

  4. June says:

    Oh! I totally want to read this, especially since I’m a soda addict. I want to know what that fizz does to one’s teeth!

  5. stacybuckeye says:

    I need a Christmas present this weekend for a ‘science girl’. What is a good age range for this? It looks like it might work.

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