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For bright sparks;Primary;Reviews;Science;Books

Alpha Science Series:

MATERIALS. By Nicola Barber.

ENERGY. By Sally Morgan.

LIGHT. By Catherine Chambers.

MOVEMENT. By Isobel Smales. Evans. pound;9.99 each.

The range and quantity of knowledge packed into these 44-page books, without superficiality, is impressive. Much of the content goes way beyond the primary science curriculum and some sounds as if it might blow your average primary child's mind - atomic structures and polymers, for example. But it is all dealt with at a level suitable for most reasonably bright 10 or 11-year-olds.

The authors have put a lot of effort into making sure the books are accessible, so sentences are short, lean and easy to read. There are simple experiments for pupils to carry out, all illustrated with a multitude of clear diagrams and photographs.

Throughout the books, links are made between the natural and manufactured worlds. So, for instance, man-made and wasp-made paper are considered together; and the hovercraft is likened to the Portuguese man-of-war jellyfish. Although not for mainstream primary science, the set would be a valuable addition to any primary library.

Paul Harrison

* Paul Harrison is a former primary school headteacher and a freelance writer and lecturer

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