Gr. 2-4. In widely spaced lines of text combined with plenty of bright, well-chosen color photos, Stille's books in the Science Around Us series ably introduce topics in the physical sciences. In Energy, she describes several ways that energy is produced, stored, and converted from potential to kinetic, and then closes with cautionary remarks about air pollution and energy conservation with a look at a "hybrid" automobile. In the companion volume, she vividly demonstrates differences among solids, liquids, and gases ("You can drink a cup of milk or a can of soda pop. You could never drink a rock"), and offers budding scientists some insight into how these states of matter behave, and why. Stille provides additional information--for instance, about plasma, another state of matter--at the end of each volume, and closes with a variety of back matter, including brief book lists and a link to a dedicated publisher's Web site. Despite some oversimplifications ("electric" energy is more properly called "electromagnetic"), these provide visually appealing support for early science curricula as well as inviting ways to get children to think about the world around them. John Peters
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