Showman Dr. Dazzleberry and his friends Galileo, Newton, and Einstein demonstrate and explain 25 astonishing science tricks.
In seven engaging chapters, this collection of science explorations spotlights traditional physical phenomena: gravity, motion, heat, magnets, sound, light, and electricity. Clear instructions for each demonstration are laid out like a recipe, with a list of easily obtainable necessary materials and step-by-step directions. These are followed by “The Science Behind the Stunt,” humorously explained in a simple but usually accurate first-person narration from one of the scientists. Some tricks are very easy; others require more time and practice and, occasionally, the supervision of an “adult sidekick.” Other precautionary measures suggested include fully reading directions and wearing eye protection or glasses and washing hands where appropriate. Some projects may be familiar, but others are likely to be new and intriguing. Not every trick will work the first time, Dr. Dazz reminds his readers. Sometimes trial and error as well as practice are necessary. Sidebars add extra information sure to appeal to intended readers, such as an after-Halloween Punkin Chunkin contest in Delaware and a rock band made up of deaf musicians. Helpful cartoonlike illustrations feature a diverse cast including the African-American Dr. Dazz, whose showmanship is only exceeded by his sense of humor.
Magical science that’s amazing, astounding, and sure to appeal to middle-grade and middle school readers.
Brown and Owsley follow 2012’s Crazy Concoctions with another engaging collection of science experiments, this time centered around physics. Playing host to readers’ explorations is Dr. Dazzleberry, an enthusiastic physicist/magician in a rhinestone-studded tuxedo, who is joined by cartoon representations of Galileo Galilei, Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein. Brown includes 25 experiments, spread out over seven chapters devoted to gravity, magnetism, sound, light, and more. Motion-related experiments include creating a marshmallow catapult out of wooden craft sticks and using centripetal force to cause a penny to whiz around the inside of a balloon, à la a planet’s orbit (sections titled “The Science Behind the Stunt” explain the forces at work behind each “trick”). Sidebars discussing real-life applications of physics (such as the record-breaking speeds of Japan’s Maglev trains) round out this hands-on look at science in action.
Educational consultant Brown’s collection of hands-on science books continues with these 25 experiments on gravity, motion, temperature, magnets, sound, light, and electricity. The book is narrated by Dr. Dazz, a cartoon physicist and magician. He is accompanied by three cartoon sidekicks (Galileo Galilei, Sir Isaac Newton, and Albert Einstein), who explain how each of the experiments works. Each activity includes a description, a list of required props, and a numbered list of instructions and ends with an explanation of the history and science behind the stunt. The activities range from a tea bag rocket to a straw oboe. Cartoon drawings of a diverse cast of children demonstrating the experiments liven the text and clearly illustrate concepts and instructions. Readers are presented with safety rules and tips in the introduction and reminded of them of them throughout the book. In addition, experiments requiring adult assistance are noted. VERDICT Brown’s humorous and upbeat presentation will appeal to readers and would be a worthwhile resource for classrooms and public libraries.
– School Library Journal Xpress Reviews