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Maybe the first "How come?" question is "How come these books do so well?" And the answer is in how they satiate every boy and girl's insatiable curiosity about the world around them.
Crack science writer Kathy Wollard answers those sneakily simple questions that ambush even the most erudite moms and dads. Like: "Why do apples turn brown when cut?" Or "Why do we get dizzy from spinning around on the playground?" Or "How can a fly walk up the kitchen wall?"
The 125 questions are all derived from the experiences central to a kid's world—stuff that happens at home, in the backyard, at school, on vacation. There are the inevitable insect questions—"Why do bees die after they sting someone?" (the honeybee's stinger is barbed, and can't detach from the bee without pulling out its venom sac, a fatal injury). Food questions—"Is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable?" (a fruit, in fact a berry). Science questions—"We used dry ice in our school play to make fog. How does it do that?" (Unlike water, carbon dioxide goes straight from gas to solid and back—when frozen as dry ice, it "melts" into fog.) And the classic: "Why can't we tickle ourselves?" (Tickling depends on the element of surprise—and the brain can't surprise itself.)
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Why Does Bright Sunlight Make You Sneeze?
Sometimes, the most tantalizing mysteries are right in front of us. In 134 questions and answers, How Come? In the Neighborhood explains the conundrums of everyday life. Mysteries in the kitchen—why mold grows on bread, and why cow's milk is white. In the bathroom—where earwax comes from, and how we throw up (yuck!). Plus puzzlers at school, on vacation, and in the backyard. It used to be just your neighborhood; now it's your very own laboratory!
Kathy Wollard is the author of Newsday's popular "How Come?" column. She has physics and journalism degrees from New York University, and has written about science and health for Self, Scholastic, Popular Science, and Family Fun magazines. A former New Yorker, she and her husband, author Evan Morris, now live in rural Ohio. They have one son.
Debra Solomon is an illustrator and animator whose short films have won awards at film festivals around the world. She created the animated Lizzie McGuire character for the hit Disney show. She also wrote the award-winning kids' books Oh Brother! and Oh Sister!, and co-authored A Good Friend and 101 Uses for an Ex-Husband. Ms. Solomon lives in New York City.
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