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Materials: Discover Science    by Clive Gifford order for
by Clive Gifford
Order:  USA  Can
Kingfisher, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This book is all about the materials we find in the world around us. The short chapters discuss natural materials like rocks and wood as well as manmade materials such as plastic and glass.

The investigation of materials begins with a quick look at liquids and solids, materials that float versus sink, and stretchy/flexible things such as a spring, hair band or vaulting pole.

Rocks, how they are formed and have been used to construct walls and buildings, are the focus of the next two chapters before the author moves on to clay and ceramics, glass, and various types of metals.

Next up is a quick look at wood and the things we fashion from wood. Natural fabrics, like cotton and wool, plus manmade fabrics are then discussed along with the role that plastic plays in our lives. Finally there's a closing section on recycling.

You'll also find, at the back of the book, Parent and teacher notes and a glossary along with a Did you know? listing of facts, a Materials quiz and a page of additional books, websites and places you can visit that feature more information about materials. There are also three projects that will engage the young reader.

As a general introduction to materials, this is a useful book, but don't expect any real depth. The creative parent or teacher, though, can use this book as a starting point to expand each chapter and launch a more detailed study of the materials introduced here.

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