By: Jennifer Boothroyd
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: August 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: September 2010
When we talk about the word “force,” we are talking about a “push or pull.” There are always forces around us. For example when someone is pushing someone else on a swing, force is being used. You can usually see what happens when force is being used. It is easy to see force when a truck is pulling a boat, but if leaves are swirling around, “sometimes the cause of a force is invisible.” One other example is gravity or magnetism. You can’t see the force that holds a magnet on your refrigerator, but you know a force is in action. Forces also “put things in motion.” A few examples are when you pull a wagon, the “pushing and pulling your pencil” when you need to write, and its effect when you push a toy car.
There is also a difference in the strength of a force. For example when you throw a ball hard a “strong force” will make it go further. On the other hand if you gently push on a toy boat, it will only “move a short distance from you.” It is easy to understand that an object’s weight will make a difference in how much force you’ll need to move it away from you or pick it up. In this book you will also learn about force and its relationship with direction and speed, how forces can “make things stop moving” or allow something to continue through it, the relationship of an object’s weight and the force needed to stop them, you’ll learn about friction and how it “slows things down or makes them stop,” and how force can change the shape of objects.
This is an excellent introduction to the physics of motion and forces for the young student. The concepts put forth in this book are very easy to understand. Both the text and its accompanying photographs will enable the fluent reader to enjoy learning a bit about elementary physics in a fun manner. For example, we can see a baseball shattering a piece of glass and the student learns from a caption that “A glass window has less force than a brick wall, so a ball may sail right through it. That’s bad news for whoever hit the ball.” This is the type of book that is an excellent choice to read and discuss during circle or story time. In the back of the book are directions for a “Ball Toss Game,” an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.
Quill says: If you are looking for a very elementary series to introduce the physical sciences to your classroom, this is an excellent book to consider!