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Science Solves It! Series Review by Courtney Larson

Kane Press
350 Fifth Avenue Suite 7206
New York, NY 10118

The Science Solves It! series from Kane Press has 30 books available, and each title focuses on one science concept that is woven into an engaging storyline. Each book is 32 pages long, with appealing full-color illustrations throughout. They are designed for elementary age students up through around age 8. I received three titles to review: The Nose Knows by Ellen Weiss, A Moldy Mystery by Michelle Knudsen, and The Secret of the Circle-K Cave by Anna Jane Hays.

The Nose Knows is a store about Peter, who has a wonderful sense of smell. When the rest of his family gets a cold, Peter has to use his nose to save his family from some stinky situations, including stopping his sister from drinking bad orange juice, finding the rotting broccoli his brother hid in his closet, and saving them from leaking gas when the pilot light on the stove goes out. This book introduces the reader to how the nose works and why we need to smell to taste.

In A Moldy Mystery , Jeff is a clean freak who has to share his room with his messy, science-loving brother, Wayne. When Wayne goes away to camp, Jeff takes the opportunity to clean their room, and he throws out several containers of moldy food he finds under Wayne's bed. Then he discovers that Wayne is working on a science project that requires him to grow mold, so Jeff and his friend Kayla use Wayne's lab notes to recreate the experiment. In this book, the reader learns all about mold, what it is exactly, how it grows, and why.

The Secret of the Circle-K Cave follows Rick's trip to visit his Aunt Ida, Uncle James, and cousins Joe Bob and Betsy out west. While hiking, they discover a cave and are able to spend time spelunking with Uncle James. During their adventure in the cave, they discover the answer to a century-old stagecoach robbery mystery. The reader learns all about caves, how they form, and what is involved in caving.

There are small boxes throughout the books that explain specific information about each of the science topics. The information in these boxes is short, to the point, and easily understood. The final page of each book has a "Think Like a Scientist" page. This page directs the reader back to specific pages and asks questions that cause the reader to think a bit deeper and draw conclusions about the text. There is also a small experiment included. For example, in A Moldy Mystery the reader is taught how to make a mold terrarium.

I had my 8- and 6-year-old sons read these books. They really enjoyed the stories, and they liked learning the facts about science. I think the books in the Science Solves It! series would make a fun supplement to any early elementary science program--or fun just to have on the shelf for free reading. I highly recommend these books.

Product review by Courtney Larson , The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC , August 2010