Science

Behold and See 6

Book Cover
Author(s): 
RoseMary C. Johnson

Recently during our school hours the iPad told us of a new study on salmon behavior--a link to it was posted by a prolific Facebook friend.

It was an "Aha moment"! We are using Behold and See 6 for Science and had read recently about the curious and amazing behavior of the salmon: it returns to the very place it was born to lay its eggs even after years in the open ocean. The article in question was about a new study where scientists think the salmon may actually use earth's magnetism to help direct them on their way back to their birthplace.

Galileo's Leaning Tower Experiment

Author(s): 
Wendy Macdonald
Illustrator(s): 
Paolo Rui

Science readers are to be found if you look around enough as this book demonstrates. It is the fictional story of Massimo, a boy who regularly throws his uncle's lunch off a bridge to his boat as his uncle rows by below. Galileo happens to see that the bread and the cheese land at the same time. The story ends atop the leaning Tower of Pisa, as legend suggests Galileo did.

Newton and Me

Author(s): 
Lynne Mayer
Illustrator(s): 
Sherry Rogers

With the release of Newton and Me I was hoping to find an elementary science book written as an engaging story but, unfortunately, I was disappointed. The book is about a boy and his dog, Newton, discovering various forces in their daily lives, forces first described by Isaac Newton.

Little Black Ant on Park Street

Little Black Ant on Park Street
Author(s): 
Janet Halfmann
Illustrator(s): 
Kathleen Rietz

The Smithsonian’s Backyard Collection series “is a world of wonder for children intrigued by the wildlife outside their windows.” The books have an over-sized format, and each page filled with colorful and detailed illustrations with large-print text. This newest book in the series tells the story of Little Black Ant searching for food. Though the book may be written for younger children, this is not a book that is more story than science.

Easy as 1,2,3

Author(s): 
Nancy Nicholson

This is a teacher's manual of sorts for those "seeking a primary-level presentation less restrictive than a text", as the author states in the introduction. The author recommends using Childcraft: How and Why Library by World Book's editions predating 1980 and The Everyday Science Sourcebook to go together with this guide, along with library books.

The Story of Science

Author(s): 
Joy Hakim

Hakim's The Story of Science is an attractive but frustrating piece. Her comprehensive portrayal of the history of physics is extensively researched and beautifully illustrated, but marred by a steady stream of errors of science and history and an irritating political and philosophical drumbeat about things like population control and the proper separation (only now known to man) between religion and science.

The Joy of Science

Author(s): 
Joy Hakim

Joy Hakim is a talented story-teller, as readers of her American history series can attest. Her presentation of the history of science, ably illustrated with colored images of scientists and their apparatus and their books will engage the student and readily acquaint him with all that he is likely to be expected to know (in the politically correct sense) about the history of science.

It is the "politically correct" aspect that warrants some caution.

Christian Kids Explore Chemistry

Author(s): 
Ridlon

This book, written for fourth-eighth grade, provides an introduction to the different topics in Chemistry. Written from a general Christian perspective, there is nothing in the book that would pose a problem for Catholic readers. While the book appears hefty at 384 pages, the extra wide 3 inch margins, space devoted to clip art and blank pages that run throughout the book result in a light weight approach to chemistry. Each topic is briefly explained in three-five paragraphs (250- 500 words on average) and is followed by a short “Review It” section made up of fill in the blank questions.

The Salamander Room

Author(s): 
Anne Mazer
Illustrator(s): 
Steve Johnson
Lou Fancher

The Salamander Room is a beautifully illustrated picture book that is sure to captivate the nature-loving child. Brian finds a salamander and asks his mother to keep him as a pet. Rather than saying "no" his mother asks leading questions as to where the salamander will sleep, what he will eat, where he will play and if he'll be lonely.

Eager to keep his new pet, but also desiring to give him a happy home, Brian reassures his mother that he will bring moss into his room, wet leaves, boulders and insects to make the salamander happy.

Science 4 for Young Catholics

Book cover: 'Science 4 for Young Catholics'
Author(s): 
Dr. Gregory Townsend

This 4th grade science textbook is nicely laid out and easy to use. Each chapter begins with a brief biography of a famous Catholic scientist, like Copernicus, Mendel and Pasteur, followed by four literal comprehension questions. The goals of the chapter and an outline are also provided at the beginning of each chapter. Interspersed among the text of the chapters are experiments, activities, and review questions. There are also review study pages at the end of the chapter.

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