Two accessible titles in the Vicki Cobb Science Play series by veteran educator Vicki Cobb, illus. by Julia Gorton, teach science basics. In I Get Wet, hands-on experiments and clear examples help youngsters discover the intricacies of H2O. I See Myself explores what makes mirrors work.
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*Starred Review* Reviewed with Vicki Cobb's I See Myself.
PreS.-Gr.2. Cobb takes a fresh approach to science for young children in the Science Play series. Each book introduces a single, simple concept through words, pictures, and experimentation (or as the series title would have it, "play"). Indeed, Cobb encourages adults reading the book aloud to put the book aside whenever an activity is suggested and let the child explore and discover before continuing reading. The bold graphics feature strong, simplified forms, colors, and patterns as well as the creative use of typography to represent, say, the path of a bouncing beam of light or the shape of a drop of water dripping from a faucet. In I Get Wet, a boy learns some of the properties of water through pouring it into different containers, observing it drip and flow, and trying to absorb it with waxed paper and paper toweling. I See Myself features a girl who finds out a little about vision, light, and reflection by playing with a mirror, a flashlight, and a bouncing ball. The crisp, upbeat look of the digital illustrations contrasts sharply with the often posed and tired-looking photographs routinely used in books of science experiments for young children. This playful approach reflects the enthusiastic tone in Cobb's text, which encourages children to discover for themselves the properties of water and light. An eye-opening debut for a promising series. Carolyn Phelan
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