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Etta Kaner
Illustrated by Louise Phillips Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1991. 96pp, paper $9.95
ISBN 1-55074-054-7. CIP

Subject Headings:
Sound-Juvenile literature.
Sound-Experiments-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11

Reviewed by Pat Steenbergen

Volume 20 Number 2
1992 March

Sound Science is a second book from the author/illustrator pair who produced Balloon Science1. The many experiments are grouped into themes-- ears, how sound waves travel, ways the properties of sound are used, music, and the transmission of sound. There are six to nine activities or experiments for each theme. The experiments are all clearly described and the majority are easy to perform. There is an explanation, labelled "how does it work,8 of the expected results for each experiment. There are jokes and interesting examples of the topic interspersed throughout the book.

The illustrations are in a cartoon style. They are not as attractive as the colour photographs of experiments seen in some new science books for children, but they suit the style and the price of the book. Adults may find the page layout with its jokes, sidebars, experiment directions and cartoon illustrations distracting. However, children who browse around the page rather than read from top left to bottom right seem to enjoy this format.

The explanations for the physics behind the phenomenon being described and experimented with are good for this age group, clear, not excessively detailed and yet not creating misconceptions which have to be undone by high school science teachers or which may never be corrected. The author lists an extensive array of expert whom she consulted when preparing the book.

As sound is a popular topic in elementary schools, this book will be a welcome addition to school library and classroom collections. It is also priced so that parents could purchase it for a science project or as interesting reading.

The age range is given as eight to twelve but I think eight to eleven is more suitable.

Pat Steenbergen, Board of Education for the City of York, Toronto, Ont.
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