"This series has books for a variety of grade levels. Some suit the K–2 crowd, while others are better for grades 3–4 or 5–6. The strength of the series is that the format is the same in every book. Each begins with a science puzzle related to the topic. The next section introduces real-world applications of the principles or forces at work, such as magnets, weather, or human body systems. A discovery activity encourages further investigation, while another section traces the topic back in history. As the book is read, details are revealed that help the reader choose the correct solution to the puzzle. A final section discusses more real-life uses or examples. Notes in the back of the books answer questions posed throughout the text (with page references). Photos and diagrams support the text well.
VERDICT The format makes this series handy for planning class investigations." - School Library Journal
"These new books in the iScience series present basic scientific concepts through both explanation and illustrative examples, including some hands-on experiment suggestions. Each opens with a real-life puzzle and several options for solving the problem. Although the choices often feel too open-ended, the puzzles offer a helpful introduction to each topic, a variety of which are covered related to the basic theme. Photos and features such as “Connecting to History” add further points of interest. (These features could be more visually distinct from the main text, though.) Air and Weather covers topics from the water cycle to the jet stream to the work of meteorologists. As an experiment, it suggests using bubbles to figure out which way the wind is blowing. The opening puzzle in Balance and Motion offers three simple, easily testable options for improving a toy acrobat’s balance—an excellent model for experiment design. New Plants focuses on the process through which seeds become plants, and also on plants’ importance as food. The science content is reviewed by a consultant from the well-respected National Science Teachers Association. The back matter includes a one-page glossary, a page of further reading suggestions and “Additional Notes” (answers to questions posed in the text), and a one-page index." -Booklist
"Children are born curious, and figuring out the world around them is important for their growth. Few things escape their attention. They love puzzles and hands-on activities. Parents and teachers can build on these natural characteristics to help children develop a fundamental understanding of science.
This book is part of a series of science readers. The authors present important science concepts in a fun and interesting format. They make an important point in their advice to parents and teachers: “Most importantly, encourage answers grounded in reality while also allowing imagination to soar.”
This book is filled with color photographs, including those of young children enjoying learning and helpful diagrams. It includes a science puzzle and discovery activity, sources for additional information, and a brief index. The text asks many questions that the reader is encouraged to answer. Examples include: "Why might it be hard to run on a tightrope?"
This book presents useful science concepts and is interesting for young readers, with clear, informative text. Any difficult words are defined in a useful glossary. The book is the right size for young hands and appears to be very durable." -National Science Teachers Association
"Balance, motion, and gravity are explored in easy-to-understand terms. Well-explained hands-on experiments make this a good resource for teachers." -Book Buzz
"Uses toys to explain balance and motion and how gravity has an effect on everything on Earth. There is an activity the students will enjoy and a puzzle at the beginning that they will use Scientific Inquiry to solve by the end of the book. There is a Glossary and an Index. This is one of the iScience series. The book has good photos and illustrations throughout. Students will be intrigued by the use of toys and acrobatics to help them understand balance, motion, and gravity." -Arlington Independent School District