Electricity; Levers; Gears; Wind-ups
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This issue’s cover shows Jane Simmons’ popular character, Daisy, and her baby brother Pip. Two Daisy books with their ‘dynamic yet affectionate pictures’ full of painterly exuberance are reviewed in this issue. Thanks to Orchard Books for their help in producing this May cover.
We welcomed these admirably explicit physics primers when they first appeared in hardback (eight years ago) and are happy to do so again. A precautionary look for signs of dating reveals them to be as acceptable and useful now as they were originally, dealing as they do with eternal verities and nice, ordinary, plainly dressed demonstrators (who must be grown up now!).
Just to recap - physical principles are illustrated in admirably straight-forward photographs - by their incorporation into familiar household gadgets and toys. So Electricity shows active batteries, bulbs and switches as well as dealing responsibly with electrical safety. You have to be careful with Gears too, as the volume devoted to those makes us well aware while we find out about cogs, belt drives, egg whisks, clockwork and lock-work. Levers ranges from pop-up toys through nutcrackers to deckchairs and Wind-ups (as in clockwork, not grip water) shows us energy storage in springs, rubber bands and raised weights.
Highly inter-active this excellent quartet is distinguished by admirably plain text and really sensible notes for parents and teachers, all components working together in each volume like a well integrated set of gears, with no need to get the wind up about their age. Excellent value, too.