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Slope off to get a bit of a lift

PULLEYS SLOPES By Caroline Rush Illustrated by Mike Gordon Wayland Pounds 7.50 each

In the Simple Technology series published by Wayland, which also includes Wheels Cogs and Levers, Caroline Rush has adopted just the right level in introducing technology to young children and Mike Gordon interprets the ideas in comical, colourful illustrations.

Pulleys takes the reader through a series of situations in which they are used. Several of these - window blind, lift and crane - could have been seen or experienced by the readers.

The reasons for using the methods of lifting are explained and details of how pulleys work are given in simple, straightforward statements. The illustrations are often amusing and would appeal to the young reader but they also show clearly how pulleys work.

Slopes are shown helping and hindering our day-to-day activities. The situations used to show how slopes are adapted (the screw) or conquered (stairs, mountain climbing) are relevant and often within the experience of children. Again, the illustrations are delightful and support the text well.

The vocabularies in both books are fairly simple and easy to read but there are glossaries at the end to explain unusual words.

There are lots of questions to help children "wonder why" and want to "find out" plus practical ideas for them to try for themselves. Each book also has notes for adults and suggestions for further reading.

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