Reviewed with David and Patricia Armentrout's A Pulley
Gr. 1-3. The books in the How Can I Experiment With . . . series offer brief overviews of a topic like simple machines, and then present a more narrowly focused look through explanation, experimentation, and observation. In Inclined Plane, for example, the topic is discussed in terms of furniture movers using a ramp. Then four two-page spreads offer simple activities using equipments such as a bench, a string, a toy car, and a piece of cardboard. The final spread mentions various types of inclined planes that children might see, from a sledding hill to a slide to an escalator. Though readers are unlikely to grasp all the concepts in the beginning explanation, the activities offer good, easy ways to experiment and learn. Similarly, Pulley discusses simple machines and mentions types of pulleys, then shows children carrying out four activities with homemade pulleys. Each page of large-type text faces a big, colorful photograph. The photos of children have a staged quality, but they clearly illustrate the activities mentioned in the text. A somewhat pricey, but potentially useful series. Carolyn Phelan
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