Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Science AND Mystery in Graphic Novel Form?!

THE MISSING CUCKOO CLOCK: A MYSTERY ABOUT GRAVITY by Lynda Beauregard and Der-shing Helmer is number five in the Summer Camp Science Mysteries. I helped my six-year-old daughter read the dialogue in this graphic novel. We both agreed that the illustrations of the idyllic camp are beautiful, and we were entertained while we learned something. It's Megan's first time at science camp, and a cuckoo clock goes missing. How can the campers crack the case? I'll tell you how: by making it fun to learn science. Not only is this book in kid-friendly graphic novel form, the explanations for the forces involved (gravity, friction, center of mass) are so simple and engaging that my six-year-old had no trouble understanding why a feather falls more slowly than a rock. Camp counselors help the children design experiments to examine various questions, the children also do more traditional "camp" activities like horseback riding, incorporating what they've learned about gravity, and of course, they search for clues in the mystery of the missing clock. As if that weren't enough, there are experiments and a glossary at the end of the book. My daughter was immediately ready to conduct the experiments.

This is an absolutely brilliant series for introducing science concepts to children in a high-interest, well-explained way. We'll be checking out the other books in the series!

Source disclosure: I received an e-galley of this title from the publisher.

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