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Physics: Why Matter Matters! Paperback – April 29, 2008

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Physics: Why Matter Matters! + Basher Science: Chemistry: Getting a Big Reaction + The Periodic Table: Elements with Style!
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–8—This follow-up to Adrian Dingle's The Periodic Table (Kingfisher, 2007) introduces the elements of physics as anthropomorphic, cartoon-style characters. "You could say that these forceful fellows are the ones that really matter." They are grouped by associations: "Old School" (mass, weight, density, etc.), "Hot Stuff" (energy, entropy, etc.), "Wave Gang" (sound, frequency, etc.), "Light Crew" (radio wave, microwave, etc.), "Atom Family" (proton, electron, etc.), "Nuclear Heavies" (radioactivity, alpha particle, etc.), and "Electric Cuties" (static electricity, electric current, etc.). Each of the groupings begins with an introduction and each concept is given its own spread that shows the cartoon figure and describes its "personality." The information is presented in a chatty and conversational tone. For example, Blackbody Radiation is described as "a ninjalike shadow who swallows and slays the Light Crew." Along with the narrative, which is written in the first person from the concept's point of view, other key facts are presented. This book would be handy as a supplement to a physics curriculum.—Maren Ostergard, King County Library System, Issaquah, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"I love science... It's great to see a book making it accessible for young children. Science should be fun." Damien Hirst "An engrossing read" New Scientist "...the look is punchy, immediate and effective. The content is equally gripping." The Guardian "This blending of science and art is pure genius. No budding chemist should be seen without this vital accessory." www.writeaway.org.uk "This illustrated pocket-sized guide is a creative bombshell and will transform the way you think." Times Educational Supplement "Brilliantly simplified information" Dina Rabinovitch, The Guardian (online)" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1040L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Kingfisher; First Edition edition (April 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753462141
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753462140
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,836 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By delzey on May 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

Yup, that just about sums up what's going on here, proving the Einstein's smaller theories were pretty solid as well. The physical world and its inhabitants are once again anthropomorphed and grouped by association. We get the Old School dudes (Mass, Weight, Density, &c.), the Hot Stuff (Energy, Entropy...), the Wave Gang (Sound, Frequency...), the Light Crew (Radio, Microwave...), and so on. It's all here, each aspect with its own spread, a first-person breakdown on the one side and a graffiti-like cartoon portrait on the other. There's also a "first discovered" box and a short historical list of how or when they were famously employed.

As with Basher and Green's previous book "The Periodic Table: Elements With Style," I think this book works best in the classroom as a supplemental text (though used correctly they could be primary) with wide appeal. A great introduction for budding young scientists to the basics of physics, a playful refresher for older young scientists, and an easily digestible crash-course for adults who need the background to keep up with their budding young scientists.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Bojan Tunguz HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
Physics is oftentimes considered the hardest of the hard sciences, and to many people it is one of the most difficult subjects to master. It is also my own chosen profession, and something that I am very passionate about. I find it to be an enormously fascinating subject, and I always appreciate new ways of sharing my knowledge of the subject with my students, friends and acquaintances. In my professional life of a college professor I find it continuously challenging to present the most important Physics concepts in such a way that is both accessible to the intended audience and it does justice to the field. Unfortunately even in the higher education there has been an increasing pressure to dilute various subjects in order to make them more "relevant" to the modern students. These attempts, however well-intended they may be, have the consequence of creating more and more generations of scientifically illiterate citizens. Fortunately, this small book does not subscribe to this misguided approach to science. The concepts and ideas are as part of the traditional Physics curriculum as they come. They are introduced in a playful, amusing way, and yet each short description is completely accurate and relevant. There are a few facts and numbers that help with describing each one of the concepts, but they are only given in sidebars and don't constitute the bulk of the material. In my opinion this is a pedagogically well founded way of presenting these concepts to someone for the first time. The illustrations in the book are extremely well done and serve the purpose of personifying various physical concepts and quantities. This may be particularly appealing to the young readers. I would also recommend this book even to the older audience that perhaps has not heard of some of these concepts, or has not really thought about Physics in many years. Overall this is an excellent low-level introduction to Physics.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Three Crows VINE VOICE on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
My six year old plowed through this book in one afternoon... he knew he'd love it because the Periodic Table version is an old favorite. The information is clear, concise, and engaging, the pictures appealing to my little Pokemon fan. I love that we had a whole discussion of strong vs. weak force at dinner last night. Not really a textbook, but a fantastic introduction to physics for kids who read well on thier own.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lorel Shea VINE VOICE on January 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have good news for fans of the quirky kid's guide to chemistry, "The Periodic Table, Elements with Style". Kingfisher Publishing has produced two related books, which cover biology and physics. The artist known simply as Basher has teamed up with a new writing partner, Dan Green. These pocket sized guidebooks are captivating and make a real impression on kids. Because the books are formatted in the same way, I am reviewing them together.

Both books have about 120 pages plus a glossary. The left hand page usually has a topic, a few bullet points on it, and two paragraphs presenting information from the point of view of the topic. Each subject has it's own personality and the right hand page has a personified illustration of that subject. In the Biology book, Sperm, for instance, says, "I'm a little guy with a big job." For those who wish to consider the appropriateness of the books for younger children, he does get a bit more specific. "I Start out in one of the two testes, a man's sperm factories, and travel upstream towards the penis... If everything is going swimmingly, I enter a female body and it takes an hour or so to get to Egg." The whimsical cartoony illustration shows a smiling tadpole-like creature wearing sunglasses. There is also a tiny, simplified 1" tall rendering of the male reproductive system. The information on Egg and Baby in Womb is also quite simple but may be upsetting to some. "Biology, Life as We Know It" also contains a small pull out poster of the body systems. Some examples of other topics in the biology book include Skin, Nails, Reptiles, Liver, and Flower.

The physics book is titled, "Physics, Why Matter Matters" and it has definitions of terms like Kinetic Energy, Frequency, Alpha Particle, and Gravity.
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