From School Library Journal
Gr 4-8–Two new titles follow the format of Green and Basher's Physics and Biology (both Kingfisher, 2008) and other visually appealing introductions to the sciences. Chemistry begins with a short overview of the discipline and information on Antoine Lavoisier's 18th-century scientific findings. Concepts are grouped by associations: “Basic States” (solid, liquid, etc.), “Nuts and Bolts” (atom, ion, etc.), “Nasty Boys” (acid, base, etc.), and more. The individual concepts are each introduced over a spread that features a computer-generated cartoon of a character representing the idea and a brief introduction to its characteristics and personality. Math follows a similar format, but without an introduction. Chapters include, among others: “Number Bunch” (zero, infinity, etc.), “Special Sum-Things” (add, subtract, etc.), and “Shape Shifters” (line, angle, etc.). In both books, the information is presented in a chatty, first-person voice. For example, “Acid” announces: “The most notorious of the Nasty Boys. I'm mad, bad, and thoroughly dangerous to know. Given the chance, I'll eat away at Metal and burn through your skin!” Other basic facts are provided in bullet points and small boxed areas. Thee worthwhile library purchases would make handy curriculum supplements.–Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WAα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This nicely designed paperback from the Basher Books series introduces basic mathematical terms such as zero, line, pi, quadrilaterals, ratio, bar graph, and x (representing unknown quantities). Each one, personified in the accompanying digital illustration, speaks for itself. Subtract begins, “People often think I’m gloomy. Okay, I admit it, I’m the exact opposite of Add, that bubbly ball of smirking positivity. Later Subtract touches on subtracting negative numbers and offers a mental-math puzzler with an alternate method of reaching the solution. Reminiscent of Japanese cartoons, the colorful, iconic illustrations of the characters are appealing enough to disarm many mathphobic students, while those who love the subject will be in their element. The accompanying poster can be easily detached from the back cover. Appealing to a broad range of readers, this little book introduces plenty of ideas to build on while presenting familiar concepts in a fresh way. Grades 4-7. --Carolyn Phelan