"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
"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 characteristics to help them develop a fundamental understanding of science.
This book is part of a series on age-appropriate topics with a similar pattern. The authors present important science concepts in a fun and interesting format. The authors make an important point: “Most importantly, encourage answers grounded in reality while also allowing imagination to soar.”
The book is filled with color photographs, including those of young children enjoying learning and helpful diagrams. The book 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. For example, "What lives in the soil where you live? How could you find out?" This book presents useful science concepts and is interesting for young readers, with clear, interesting 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
"The book starts with a puzzle involving soil and ends with its solution. The book is clearly written and illustrated to explain the topic and grabs the interest of the reader. Experiments are included with step-by-step instructions and an explanation of what is shown by the experiment. Glossary, index, and a list of other sources are included. This could be used by a teacher to enhance curriculum or as a good resource for students preparing reports." -Book Buzz
"Recommended. Presents a brief overview of the qualities of soil and what the advantages of each would be to a gardener. Poses questions throughout the book which are answered at the end and gives suggestions for related activities. Includes suggestions for further reading and a glossary." -Arlington Independent School District
"Perfect for those using the first grade science, this book doesn’t just give the facts about different soil, but has questions to think about and will lead readers in a few activities of discovery. It is not easy enough for a first grader to read independently, but is intended to encourage inquiry. Colored sections and many color photographs are inviting." -Tuscon Unified School District