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Thursday, March 1, 2012

I'm a scientist...Backyard, by Lisa Burke. DK, Tourmaline Editions. 2010. $13.99 ages 4 and up

"Put the snails back where you found them. Come back at one-hour intervals to see how they're doing. Which one has traveled the farthest? How long has it taken? Make a note of their routes and how they move."

And here's another of those great activity books...and what better place to get kids looking than right in their own backyard? The added bonus is fresh air, being somewhat active and satisfying their scientific need to know.

If you worked together through any of the activities in the Kitchen book, you will know how they work. If you are new to the incredible nonfiction work that DK does, you are in for a fun romp through the pages of a most intriguing and informative edition from the I'm a scientist series. Each one is as good as the rest!

We start with using live flowers, and food coloring. You know where I am going with this, don't you? Each activity is clearly set out for even the youngest reader. There is a list of materials, a numbered method (with numbers large enough to be clearly seen) and helpful photographs that make the observation and recording easy for little scientists.

There are experiments concerning plant growth, bug houses and garden critters, earthworms, windmills, parachutes, and even shower caps to protect fair heads from showers in nature. So much fun, and the added bonus is that children are learning about scientific principles in their real world.

Don't forget to check out the flap on the right side of each double-page spread! They are filled with answers to our questions and encourage further learning. Again, a glossary and a shopping list are most useful additions to this already wonderful book!

I was asked to review these books as part of a contest that DK is running through the month of March. Readers are encouraged to check out this website and enter their names for a chance to win some great prizes:


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