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How Come? Paperback – January 12, 1993

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Gr. 5-9. Why is the sky blue? What color is water? Do parrots understand what they say? These are but a few of the questions, common and not so common, answered in a compilation drawn from Wollard's syndicated newspaper science column. Organized in a roughly topical fashion and crisscrossing the science spectrum from physics to astronomy to biology, the questions are answered, not only in considerable detail (each column was originally around 500 words) and understandable terms, but also with a concerted effort to keep the science light and related to young people's everyday experiences. Debra Solomon's zany black-and-white cartoon drawings are strictly for laughs. Browsers as well as the seriously science-minded will find much to intrigue them. Stephanie Zvirin

From the Back Cover

NOW YOU CAN KNOW IT ALL

Firefly light and the aurora borealis. Time travel and tears. Blood types, boomerangs, and black widow spiders. Explanations and investigations. A fact-filled, fun-filled, whimsically illustrated compendium, HOW COME? answers over 100 of the questions asked most frequently about the world around us.

It explains what a mirage is (an image caused by air bending light). How a cat can survive a high fall (because of the way its body acts like a parachute). And why, when someone else yawns, you want to yawn too (in primitive times, yawns may have been a way to synchronize group behavior).

So go ahead, ask it your best question.

ATTENTION PARENTS:

Can you say why the sky is blue? Or explain how an X-Ray can take a picture of your child's bones? It's not easy to be knowledgeable in all walks of science, but here's lively help for when the questions start coming.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company (January 12, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563053241
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563053245
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #731,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Joshua G. Feldman on August 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love science and read a lot of adult science books. My son, 7, is really into science too - so we run through a lot of kid's science books. I've never encountered a better one than this one. "How Come?" never condescends and it never cuts corners in its explanations. It focuses in with razor sharpness on the questions and issues kids (and childlike minds) have and then answers them with clear and rational explanations that really inform and educate. I find myself reading this book and learning things - even on topics I'd covered many times before. I'd say that the age this book is pitched for is 8-14, but even smaller kids get something out of it - and few adults can resist it either.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the book to have whether science was a weak subject in school or none of the scientific knowledge was retained once out of school. Parents would find this book useful in quelling the barrage of questions from their inquisitive children while satisfying their own curiosity in the field of science. Do you know why people have different blood types? Different types of proteins found in red blood cells and the plasma they float in determine the type of blood a person has. What causes hiccups? They are caused by the diaphragm going into spasms. These are some of the interesting subjects explained in this book accompanied by funny and amusing illustrations. Parents and children will repeatedly reach for this book as a reference for their questions in the field of science.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a really cool book! I always wondered why drops of water cling to the inside of a glass when you turn it over, and this book finally answered my question. I also found out that pandas aren't really bears (they're more like oversized raccoons) and whether it rains on other planets. I would recommend this book for any kid or adult who really wants to know. The drawings are funny, too. (like the radioactive toupee and the black widow spider wedding, where she promises to love, honor, and DIGEST).
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Edith Freedle on March 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. It seems like everything you've ever wondered about science or nature is explained here, everything from where zebras got their stripes to where lightning comes from. Although the publisher classifies this as a "young person's book," it contains far more detail in its explanations than you find in some science books aimed at adults. Each answer, in fact, is an essay on the subject, long enough to really explain the answer. I also think that the tone of the answers is just right -- it's just like having someone who knows all about science and nature and also has a great sense of humor come to your house and answer all the questions you've wondered about for years. And the drawings are GREAT -- this is the only science book I've ever seen that actually made me laugh out loud.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
I was only five when this book was published, and it must have found its way into our house soon after. I definitely remember devouring it in first and second grade. It was chock full of information that I could understand and use, but it didn't talk down to me, either, and the illustrations were memorable and hilarious. Any child with an interest in science will enjoy this book, and adults can enjoy it, too. It's too bad there isn't a more recent edition, but this version is still useful even over a decade and a half later. The articles are all entertaining to read multiple times and focus on a variety of topics. Definitely a must-have if your kids are always wondering why the world is the way it is!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 27, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this for my 7 year old niece who lives in Europe. I wanted to see how good it was so I picked it up to read a few entries. I couldn't put it down! I loved how straightforward everything was and wish I had owned this when I was young. It would have been an incredibly good foundation for science classes in school!

The explanations are thorough and grouped by category. I didn't care for the illustrations but it didn't matter, they could leave blank spots there and I'd still say this is the best book I've ever seen on explaining science. I can't wait for my niece to open it for Christmas, I think she'll love it just as much!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shanmugam Murugappan on February 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 9 year old loves this one. It answers a lot of questions that she had and can be useful for adults too. It is presented well and is easy to read and understand.
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Format: Paperback
This book is old enough that I had the pleasure of reading it when I was a young kid. Now I'm headed off to college and can look back and see what this book did for my childhood. Put simply - and with no exaggeration - it changed my life. The wealth of knowledge and the fascinating way it was presented sparked an insatiable fire to learn that has not died down to this day. I went from being a mopey kid that doodled occasionally to one that favorited wikipedia and became a recluse that poured over whatever information I could find. I'm subscribed to Crash Course, minute physics, veratasium, SciShow, VSauce, and many others on YouTube to help fuel my need to learn. I pop over to the library and grab books randomly from the non-fiction section just to see what they have to offer.

I'm not trying to pat myself on the back for the person I've become. I want to thank Kathy Wollard for helping me become this person. I might sound too grandiose or overestimate the book's impact. I assure you, however, that this book was the spark to a much larger fire. Buy it, buy it now and you will not be upset.
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