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Sam's Science: I Know How We Fight Germs Hardcover – January 6, 1999
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From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-These picture books introduce scientific concepts in story format. The texts are both informational and entertaining as a little boy named Sam converses with his mother about what happens to his food and then about his cold and the role germs play. Children should relate to the nontechnical way the mother explains things and especially to Sam's remarks, such as "Cool," "Yuck," "I know...But I like picking at scabs," and "We have burping contests at school." The bright and appealing cartoons are done in colored pencils and watercolors. The uncluttered diagrams should be helpful in explaining the concepts. Unfortunately, Food is written with British terminology, which may confuse young readers. For example, instead of setting the table, Sam is asked to "Lay the table" and dessert is referred to as "afters." Spellings are also different, such as "litres," "oesophagus," and "metres." The series could fill a need for nonfiction for younger children, but it should be consistent with American spellings and terminology.
Susan Knell, Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, KS
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
The Sam's Science series (see Maynard, above) introduces Sam, who has a cold, and who sneezes; his mother explains why he should catch his sneeze in a tissuea germ from a sneeze can spread up to ten yards, ``as far as three elephants standing in a line.'' Sam and his mother discuss how people get colds; how the body fights germs; the components of blood, including white blood cells that zap germs and eat bacteria; how scabs keep the bacteria out, and much more. While they talk, Sam imagines the white blood cells as smiling white cotton balls with striped legs, running after the toothy orange germs, the chicken pox virus has spots, while the bacteria, which McEwen shows as pickle-like and with legs, is running from the white blood cells. Rowan packs a lot of information into this useful title, enhanced by the humorous illustrations. It's a lively and inviting introduction to colds and germsand sciencefor the sniffle-prone picture-book set. (Picture book. 6-10) -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
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My only big complaint is when the important discussion of scabs comes up. Sam's Mom excellently explains what scabs are, their role in healing wounds and keeping bacteria out, and reminds why you shouldn't pick them. To which Sam replies, "But I LIKE picking at scabs". After a glib statement like that, you fully expect to see Mom make a final comment about NOT picking scabs. Unfortunately, you turn the page, only to find the story move on to talking about how not all bacteria are bad.
This is confusing and unfortunate, as the ages this book is geared toward are the ages at which most children pick their scabs until they bleed over and over.
My own daughter has scars as the result of picking her scabs. I feel that this book would have been 5 stars, were it not for missing a perfect opportunity to really hit home about an inappropriate and potentially harmful habit many children have.