Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Candy Experiments by Loralee Leavitt

Candy Experiments

Title: Candy Experiments
Author: Loralee Leavitt
Reviewer: Karen
Genre: Children's Non-Fiction
Rating: Fabulous
Alerts/Warnings: None
Premise: "Brilliant use of Valentine's, Easter, Halloween, and other holiday candy! Fun, colorful, and full of surprises, Candy Experiments will have kids happily pouring their candy down the drain and learning some basic science along the way.Candy is more than a sugary snack. With candy, you can become a scientific detective. You can test candy for secret ingredients, peel the skin off candy corn, or float an “m” from M&M’s. You can spread candy dyes into rainbows, or pour rainbow layers of colored water. You'll learn how to turn candy into crystals, sink marshmallows, float taffy, or send soda spouting skyward. You can even make your own lightning.

Candy Experiments teaches kids a new use for their candy. As children try eye-popping experiments, such as growing enormous gummy worms and turning cotton candy into slime, they’ll also be learning science. Best of all, they’ll willingly pour their candy down the drain.

Candy Experiments contains 70 science experiments, 29 of which have never been previously published. Chapter themes include secret ingredients, blow it up, sink and float, squash it, and other fun experiments about color, density, and heat. The book is written for children between the ages of 7 and 10, though older and younger ages will enjoy it as well. Each experiment includes basic explanations of the relevant science, such as how cotton candy sucks up water because of capillary action, how Pixy Stix cool water because of an endothermic reaction, and how gummy worms grow enormous because of the water-entangling properties" (GoodReads.com).

Opinions: This book is BRILLIANT!!! I know Loralee and she has an amazing mind and now she has a found a way to share her love of science with her children.  I was impressed by how Loralee came up with these various experiments, and documented each step and yet how fun each experiment seemed for a non-science fan like me. The instructions are readily understandable and are even labeled by level of difficulty. The explanations of the reactions that are recurring are clear and concise and include photos to show what the resulting experiment should look like.

I had the opportunity to sit on a presentation that Loralee did at a writer's conference a few weeks ago where Loralee walked a group of teachers and authors through some of the experiments from the book. It was amazing.  Kids of all ages are going to love this. Parents are going to love this.  Teachers are going to Adore this.  What a great way to teach kids about science and exploring by finding new and different uses of candy rather than eating it.  And what a great way of making family time around science.  Please go read this book and try it out in your own families.

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