Electricity ¦ Levers ¦ Gears ¦ Wind-ups
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Our cover illustration this month is by Alan Lee from The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. The first-ever colour illustrated edition is now available from HarperCollins (0 261 102230 3) at £30.00. We thank them for their help in reproducing the cover of the book.
Librarians, teachers and parents have been going scatty trying to scrape together materials to help with the bit of the National Curriculum that deals with mechanics through the study of toys. So it's Ollerenshaw and Triggs to the rescue as we look at different ways of storing and transferring energy through the medium of a collection of toys.
Each book examines its subject from a very basic beginning, the reader gradually accumulating knowledge and being encouraged to apply it and discover more, using the simple tools and models illustrated. Many questions are asked and nearly all are answered, but not until the reader has had a good chance to discover the answer experimentally.
'Things to do' is what these four are all about - each one is a steeplechase of instructions and investigations, incomplete without a collection of bits and pieces to match those shown in the book and a lot of peer/parent/teacher interaction. The clarity of Peter Millard's photographs and the friendly nature of the materials and their demonstrators will encourage unafraid curiosity, which is exactly what's wanted. And just in case the grown-ups miss the point, all is lucidly explained on the last page.