By: Lynne Mayer
Illustrated by: Sherry Rogers
Publisher: Sylvan Dell Publishers
Publication Date: March 2010
Reviewed by: Bill Alberts
Review Date: March 2010
How do you introduce young children to some of the most basic laws of physics without overwhelming them? Author Lynne Mayer has found the perfect way – by incorporating force and motion principles into a sweet story of a boy and his dog.
Newton and Me opens with Newton the dog dropping his play ball on his young master’s head. Wake up, it’s time to play! Newton and the boy rush outside to do all sorts of things. They play with the ball, push a toy truck, then the boy rides his bike and helps his mom move some rocks with his wagon. With each activity, a rule of force and motion is presented:
"Then Newton and I decided to go for a ride.
I hopped on my bike with my dog by my side.
The wind was blowing quite hard that day.
The wind at my back pushed me on my way.
But when I turned around to go home at last,
The wind pushed against my chest and I couldn’t go as fast."
Physics is such a big part of everyday life, and Newton and Me does an excellent job of introducing force and motion to pique young readers’ interest. The illustrations are bright and cheerful, particularly those of the very happy Newton. For parents, there are little physics related nuggets throughout, such as the dad reading the “Mechanics and Gravity” newspaper.
At the back of the book are several pages “For Creative Minds.” Two pages of simple experiments (such as “can you throw anything in the air without it coming back down?), an overview of Newton and matching forces pictures.
Quill says: Newton and Me gently presents the most basic of physics concepts to young readers in a fun and playful way.