Written by Loralee Leavitt
Explosions, lightening, secrets… what reader on the fourth grade level could resist a book that gives recipes for causing, creating, or discovering all that? Top that fun with a bunch of candy – literally – and Candy Experiments is sure to please! Science fanatics are sure to gobble up this book.
In bright candy-colors, this Candy Experiments offers 70 kid-friendly experiments each conducted with – you guessed it – candy. Each test begins with a short teaser, such as, “Can you make marshmallows dance without touching them?” All experiments include basic information in three consistent subheadings: what you need, what to do, what’s happening. This organized presentation will help readers with comprehension of the material. Skill levels are labeled: easy, medium, advanced or get a grown up. Most of the required supplies and equipment are easy-to-access candy or household materials. A few experiments, however, rely on specialized equipment such as a FoodSaver vacuum sealer.
The experiments themselves address a wide variety of science concepts, including density, solubility, and acidity. While a few of the experiments will be too simple to challenge readers on the fourth grade level (melting candy in water) and some feel a bit contrived (reading food labels to see how much “candy” they include), most of the experiments will appeal to candy-happy kids. The scientific explanations are presented in a chatty voice and focus on comprehension. Candy Experiments contains content rich vocabulary (such as molecule, crystals, geologist, air pressure, and even chromatography), but without definition. Although there is a useful index, no glossary is included.
Candy Experiments is a cross-over book which will have appeal in both the classroom and the home. The depth and diversity of science concepts and skills demonstrated makes it a good compliment to school curriculum; yet it is so much fun that children will also read it for pleasure. The book provides an engaging example of expository informative text and could be used by teachers implementing the Common Core State Standards. If used with small groups of students, the step-by-step nature of the text lends itself to read aloud practice. Candy Experiments is a clever combination of fun and learning. Readers will be hooked by melting, bubbling, or bursting their favorite treat while discovering important scientific concepts!