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See Inside Science, Usborne See Inside - Alex Frith

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1 Review

Genre: Junior Books / Author: Alex Frith / Hardcover / 16 Pages / Book is published 2006-11-24 by Usborne Publishing Ltd

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      01.02.2013 19:31
      Very helpful



      Good addition to a child's library.

      We have a five books in this series so far, and will most likely collect more as time goes by. Most these of these books have an educational theme. We have See Inside Dinosaurs, Volcanoes, Your Head, Your Body and this book See Inside Science. Of course all of the topics we have could be considered science - science encompasses almost everything. Considering the fact that this book has only 15 pages this is hardly going to be able to go into great detail, instead this is just a more general taster. It covers very briefly: The Big Bang Theory, what scientists do, space, life, physics, chemistry, energy and engineering.

      The main reason for buying this book is the gimmick of the flaps to lift. In all honesty, I really don't see the point of lifting a bunch of flaps. Yes they have another picture or more information on the other side - but couldn't you just use another page? But it isn't my opinion that counts. For some reason my children, and many others, really enjoy lifting up flaps and looking behind them. It keeps the child's attention focused completely on the book, and makes the whole process of learning about science just a little bit more fun. It also gives children the chance to peel of the layers of an object to see what is inside. Open up an atom and you find protons - and in this picture - quarks all over the outside. Look inside a nuclear reactor and you can see just how radiation is used to create electricity. Look inside a lysosome and you can see a cartoon version of a battle between the lysosome and bacteria - complete with acid guns.

      Each page has - 4 to 6 flaps with a total of over 50. The main idea is expressed in 1 -2 larger sentences per page with a large number of explanations for various items and activities in the illustrations or labels. This is packed with information and creates a fairly busy page but it is well organised and this is quite clear and almost all are easy to understand. Although there is quite a lot of information for such a short book, this does cover so many topics that each one can only be touched on lightly. As a home educator, I would not consider a text book, but rather a bit of supplemental reading. It is fun, and may help cement a few facts, but most of these subjects are going to require a great deal of further reading. But this is fun, and it is a great way for children to learn just a little bit more about how the world works.

      I feel that most of these books suit children from about age 4 up, and a few younger, but I do feel that an older child will get more from this book. A younger child may enjoy looking at the pictures and some of the simpler concepts in this book, but I really do not feel that a four year old is going to get the concept of atoms, neutron, and quarks, or make much sense of the Periodic Table of Elements. I would recommend this book for ages 6 -10 - and point out that children at the younger end of this scale are really going to need an adult sharing this with them to get the most out of it. The text is also often very small, stylized and in some cases printed over very dark backgrounds, meaning this will be more difficult for a new reader to decode. My son is age 7, and I do not feel he would have completely understood everything here if I had not been there to answer questions. In particular we spent quite some time discussing elements, including the definition, Greek theories on this and naming several substances and guessing whether they were elements or compounds.

      Overall I found this book very good. We did enjoy it, and my son certainly learned some things from it. There are even a couple of very simple experiments to try, although we have already don't most of these. I do have two issues with this book, but perhaps it just that I am not knowledgeable enough to understand. The way the chart for the Periodic Table is presented I would assume by looking at this that only 86 elements have been discovered. This does not show all of the 86, this shows 72 and explains that 14 have been left out. I'm not sure if this is because the others may not occur naturally - but I feel this does give a mistaken impression. I thought there were 118 elements but it turns out I am wrong as well.

      I also assumed the white sticky things all over the protons or neutrons were the quarks as these are mentioned in the narrative and so did my son - but other books show the quarks as inside the neutron or proton. I'm afraid this is well over my head, but my understanding was that the teeny tiny things were meant to go inside.

      I am not saying the book was wrong - I'm sure they know far more than I do - I am just saying I found the book confusing in regards to these two sections. Aside from these issues, which I feel were quite minor, I feel the majority of the book is very well written , with a very difficult task of condensing a large amount of information into a few easy to understand snippets. I can't say that this is the best Science book we own, we do own many more with far more in depth information, but we had fun, this stimulated a useful and educational conversation, and my son did learn a fair amount for a very short period of time. I would certainly recommend this to home educators, but as a supplement to more in depth texts. I would also highly recommend this for traditionally educated children as fun way to learn about the world around them at home. I think all children do naturally enjoy science. This book answers many questions about the world - but may very well lead to just as many new questions. Of course that is as it should be - I hope my children never stop asking questions.

      I have given this book 4 stars as I do feel if I had difficulty understanding a couple of parts, younger children might as well, but I would rather have given 4 1/2. It is a good book and well purchasing. This sells for £6.89 new from Amazon. There are some used copies available in "acceptable" condition but I personally am always wary of buying books with so many flaps used. This printed on a very thick card, and the flaps are reasonably sturdy, but I have often found ones in used books to be damaged. A used book in good condition costs very close to the price of a new book, so one might as well just choose new.


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