Grade 2-3-Disorganized, superficial, and peppered with statements that range from simplistic to plain wrong, this overview of science is more apt to confuse than enlighten the readers for whom it is intended. Each volume takes on an apparently randomly chosen topic, which can vary in scope from Helping plants grow well or Dissolving to Habitats, Keeping healthy, and Earth and beyond. Aside from perfunctory indexes in each volume, there is no back matter, and despite much topical overlap, Solids and liquids, Changing from solids to liquids to gases, and Changing materials, for example, or Simple electricity and Changing circuits, there are no internal or external cross-references. Along with citing temperatures in centigrade only, Knapp shows inconsistent judgment about the vocabulary his readers will be able to handle, defining "microorganisms," "buoyancy," and "cholesterol," for example, but not "chlorophyll" or "electromagnets." More problematically, lines like "We eat food because it tastes nice," and the claim that insects "occur in larger numbers than any living thing on Earth," indicate a disregard for precise language, or even accuracy. Similarly, many of the color diagrams and cut-out photos are striking but misleading. Colorful, open-looking pages give this set a superficially inviting appearance, but that's hardly enough to compensate for its substandard content.
John Peters, New York Public Library
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 24 pages. 0.142. Bookseller Inventory # 9781862141841