Mysteries made clear

7th November 1997 at 00:00
The truth about life, art, computers, chocolate and everything

Stephen Biesty's Incredible Everything: How Things are Made Dorling Kindersley Pounds 12.99

Continues Biesty's tradition of producing finely-drawn, large-scale illustrations of everyday objects, opened up and explained. An overall picture of a crowded modern city provides the context for detailed descriptions of how such items as compact discs, matches, newspapers and false teeth are produced. The range is diverse and quirky: children will be as fascinated by the pictorial description of the ancient Egyptian process of embalming as by the production of a car or chocolate bar. Bob Welch Planet Ocean

By Brian Bett

Illustrated by Mic Rolph

Portland Press Pounds 6.99

That rare thing - a science book for primary school children which is both magical and inspiringly informative. This could be because it's written by a marine biologist, whose enthusiasm for the unfamiliar world of the deep sea bubbles through on every page. The first in a new series, Making Sense of Science, written by scientists for young children. Sian Griffiths (TES, April 11)

101 Amazing ThingsTo Do With Your Computer

Kingfisher Pounds 12.99

An accompanying CD-Rom has an activity program using Hyperstudio, a multimedia authoring program simple enough for children. Seven main activities on the CD-Rom help children to learn in a dynamic way about the useful and creative things that a computer can do. A book which will help to combine all children's natural creativity and curiosity in a supportive framework that will enhance their confidence with the computer. Excellent value. Nicola Jones (TES, October 10)

See book offer, page 16

The Even More Amazing Science Pop-Up Book

By Jay Young

Franklin Watts Pounds 15.99

It was only a matter of time before Young's sequel appeared. Topics this time include energy, light, moving images, telephones, levers and computers, in a package which offers information, experiment and entertainment.

Background information, rich in interesting facts, comes in a series of illustrated episodes which describe the historical progress of the science and its contemporary applications. So the moving image section takes us from primitive photographs to virtual reality.

The pop-up formula is not just a gimmick but a method of illustrating scientific effects and encouraging experiment. It will appeal to eight to 14-year-olds - and to their parents, too. Dennis Ashton

Aspects of Art: A Painter's Alphabet

By Tom Phillips

Dulwich Picture GalleryBellew Publishing Pounds 12.95

Tom Phillips is an artist who is also a bookmaker. For every letter of the alphabet, he selects a word about making, criticising or conserving art. Then he writes a page or so, and your mind begins to tick. Susan Morris (TES, May 16)

Looking at Pictures

By Joy Richardson

AC BlackNational Gallery Publications Pounds 9.99

Deep and broad analysis of Western art from the 13th to the 20th centuries, brought to life with examples from the gallery. A properly didactic as well as delightful book, essential for the key stage 3 art curriculum, but valuable for younger and older children as well. Michael Marland (TES, March 21)

A Child's Book of Play in Art

By Lucy Micklethwait

Dorling Kindersley Pounds 6.99

The art of this book is the core of teaching: creative juxtaposition. Under the heading "Touch and Feel", we see an 18th-century painting of a rhinoceros, against a 13th-century drawing of a hedgehog, Stubbs's 1790 kitten and an 1845 plate of fish. Cheaper than postcards, at 8p a picture, it is a marvellous investment. Michael Marland (TES, March 21)

Enchanted Kingdom:Looking at Celtic Myths and Legends

By Rosalind Kerven

British Museum Press Pounds 6.99

Beautifully photographed artefacts from the British Museum are woven into Celtic legends to create magical insights into the lives and minds of people who lived 2,500 years ago. Forests and bogs, giants and huntsmen, feasts and drinking horns emerge through Celtic mist. So is this drinking horn really magic? Hilary Cooper

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