Kitchen Science Experiments: How Does Your Mold Garden Grow? is definitely a title that will intrigue a child. The neat, well-organized collection of nineteen science experiments/activities that author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrator Edward Miller have put together might spark a child’s interest to explore microbiology further.
“What do the jungle and your kitchen have in common? If you said nothing, think again, because they are both home to all kinds of critters!” Thus, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen starts us out with exciting questions about what might be lurking in the kitchen. The experiments that follow are designed to help you discover out more about these tiny living things.
As you might expect from a book about molds and microbes, several of the experiments require a compound microscope in order to see cells or microscopic organisms, as well as slides and slide covers. The agar and one of the stains the author recommends may require some detective work to find. Otherwise, the experiments require items largely found around the home.
What’s to like:
How Does Your Mold Garden Grow? is carefully crafted and the directions are easy to follow. The explanations are clear and accurate. It has a nice look. Some of the experiments have a great icky factor kids love.
What could be improved:
I don’t like to say it, but the majority of the experiments/activities in this book are widely available around the Internet. For example, I have written about making cabbage and tumeric pH indicators, assembling a lemon battery, and blowing up a balloon with yeast at my science blog. I was hoping for more creative, new ideas.
On the other hand, many times what is old hat to adults is often exciting and new for children. If you are looking for a collection of kitchen science experiments to serve as an introduction to microbiology, and possibly science in general, then you should consider this book. After all, it is right on time for the season we spend so many hours in the kitchen.
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 64 pages
Publisher: Sterling (November 2, 2010)
Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Practically Paradise, which is hosted at the School Library Journal website.
This book was provided for review.