ment options after each experiment suggest
extension activities that will help young
readers apply scientific understanding to
the arts and nature. Sound scientific pro-
cedures, clearly photographed step-by-step
directions, and thorough explanations of in-
tended results make this a winning resource
for family-friendly experiments concerning
the heavens that will teach something new to
both young readers and the adults assisting
them. —Erin Anderson
Explore Predators and Prey! With 25
By Cindy Blobaum. Illus. by Matt Aucoin.
Dec. 2016. 96p. Nomad, $19.95 (9781619304567); paper,
$14.95 (9781619304604). 591.7. Gr. 4–7.
This title in the Explore series focuses on
predators and their prey, encompassing everything from mammals to insects to plants.
The upbeat, direct-address prose is aided by
How Things Work: Discover Secrets
colorful layouts and cartoon drawings, jokes,
facts, and activities. An introductory chapter
overviews the predator-prey relationship and
the scientific method (including a worksheet
example) and provides a journal-making
project. Subsequent chapters discuss di-
verse ways various predators and prey hunt
and survive, like using venom, camouflage,
or traveling in groups, and touch on eco-
logical issues. Potentially squirm-inducing
elements abound, and while the interspersed
activities are often innocuous—like making
pom-pom bats—adults will likely balk at
“Scavenger Hunt,” which involves searching
the neighborhood for dead animals (with an
important warning not to touch them). Still,
with broad-ranging, intriguing information,
accessibly conveyed scientific concepts, and
plenty of key vocabulary terms, this is useful
resource for educators. Plenty of questions
sprinkled throughout the text invite engage-
ment as well. In addition to the usual back
matter, further reading resources include
websites, many of which are accessible via
QR codes. —Shelle Rosenfeld
and Science behind Bounce Houses,
Hovercrafts, Robotics, and Everything in
By T. J. Resler.
2016. 208p. illus. National Geographic, $19.99
(9781426325557). 500. Gr. 5–8.
This cool and visually appealing book for
Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an
kids on how things work chronicles everything
from home and school gadgets (refrigerators,
Post-it notes, thermoses) to thrill-seeking in-
ventions (roller coasters, tightropes, bounce
houses). Each chapter’s “Just the Facts” sec-
tion describes familiar inventions, like the
escalator (first used as a ride in an amuse-
ment park), or things still in development,
like invisibility cloaks. Additional nuggets
of information are included in “Tell Me
More” and “Fun Facts” sections, while “Try
This” invites kids to solve challenging experi-
ments and ponder hypothetical questions.
This discusses some of the same technology
mentioned in DK’s recent Super Cool Tech
(2016)—hoverboards, invisibility devices,
tractor beams—but its jokes and graphics
target younger readers. Profiles of scientists,
engineers, and innovators responsible for
these cool technologies are also found in
this full-color book with plentiful photos,
graphics, varied fonts, a glossary, further
reading, and an index. Useful for reports
or browsing for the inquisitive reader in-
spired to know why and how things work.
Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt.
By Mary Kay Carson.
Jan. 2017. 80p. illus. HMH, $18.99 (9780544416710).
629.43. Gr. 5–8.
This thrillingly up-to-date entry in the acclaimed Scientists in the Field series traces
the history and progress of the exploration
of Pluto, with special attention paid to the
recent and still ongoing flyby mission, New
Horizons. Bolstered by excited interviews
with some of the scientists and engineers
Continued from p. 45