Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shelf Life [kids]

100 Most Awesome Things on the Planet! by Anna Claybourne, 112 pages.@ SPL: J 031.02 Cla

100 Most Awesome Things on the Planet will take readers on an exhilarating journey from the largest, the tallest, the highest and the heaviest to the tiniest, lowest, oldest, scariest and even the creepiest places and things on earth. Using colourful photos and text, Anna Claybourne explores the world’s tallest buildings and trees, the deepest mines, the biggest earthquakes, waves and animals, the fastest trains, the tiniest machines, the most terrifying storms and volcanoes, and the “coolest” creatures.

Mount Everest is known to be the highest place on the planet, but where is the lowest? (It’s the Mariana Trench, located on the floor of the Pacific Ocean near Japan. Few people have visited it – you’d need to travel there in a special deep-sea submarine. Awesome!)

Where is the driest place on earth? The Atacama Desert in Chile is so dry that experts believe it may have never rained here at all – not once. (Don’t go there to get a drink of water!)

What is the world’s biggest animal? No creature surpasses the blue whale, which can weigh 200 tons and grow to the length of four classrooms placed in a row. Its heart is the size of a small car. Again, awesome!

The creepiest place on our planet may well be the catacombs of Palermo, Italy, where thousands of “mummies”, with much of their skin, flesh and hair still intact, seem to glare down at visitors. Yuck!
Each entry covers a topic that is suitable and interesting to children, and each is given an “awesome” rating.

Both avid and reluctant readers will be intrigued by this book and other children’s titles by Anna Claybourne (eg. 100 Most Dangerous Things on the Planet and 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet).

** Recommended for ages 8 to 13 years.

How Cool is This? An Up-Close, Inside Look at How Things Work, by the editors of DK Publishing, 80 pages.@ SPL: J 600 How

How do dynamo lights, jet packs, electronic ink and padlocks work? How are balloons able to rise into the air and what keeps them there? How does a Frisbee or a boomerang stay in the air? What’s inside a soccer ball? How is the “chewiness” put into chewing gum? What are biometrics and thermal imaging? What does a “liquid lamp” look like? How is a crash helmet designed; how do night vision goggles work, and where does the fizz in a soda come from?
How Cool is This? will answer these questions and many others, describing the uses and the workings of a number of devices, contraptions, appliances, inventions and other objects. Many of them are appliances and products which we use everyday (and probably take for granted), and others are somewhat more obscure. The science behind each is explained clearly and concisely, using comparisons where helpful.

 Readers will find endless “cool” and curious facts to interest them in this attractive, fun and educational book, which includes plenty of visuals and a helpful glossary.

** Recommended for ages 8 to 12 years.

These reviews appeared in The Stratford Gazette on July 5, 2012. Written by Sally Hengeveld, Librarian.

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