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….
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.)