Review Detail

Look on the sunny side of science
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
Nonfiction science activity books have come a long way from when I was young and tried to talk my mother into letting me salt a string on top of an ice cube so it would melt and stick to the ice! Brimming with suitable rainbow colors and lots of activities, Rainbow Science offers a lot of good explanations and activities that support them.

From the basics of how rainbows are made, the book continues with explanations of when rainbows are most common (in the early morning or close to sunset; I didn't know that, but it definitely makes sense!). There are instructions for how to make one's own rainbows with a hose, water in a plastic bag, and by shining a flashlight through a glass of water. There's a good description of a spectrum, with a color spinner activity, and a color quest that involves gathering objects through out the home to create a rainbow.

Good Points
The activities all use simple household items, and the most involved one is a variation on the baking soda and vinegar volcano with the addition of food coloring. Even the directions for constructing a kaleidescope are very easy and only call for a cardboard cereal box and the shiny inside of a chip bag, cardboard. This is very important if you have the kind of child who, like me, is only happy if she can methodically work through every single activity in the book.

The illustrations are simple and colorful. The age range on this one says 6-10, but children would need a lot of help with the activities at those ages. Middle school students would have a better chance of completely these activities, and of grasping the science concepts, independently.

This would make an excellent gift for a budding scientist, especially if you made sure to include some of the supplies needed for the activities. Encourage further science experimentation with books like Home Activity Lab: Exciting Experiments for Budding Scientists (DK Activity Lab) by Winston, Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail by Editors of Storey Publishing, Slime!: Do-It-Yourself Projects to Make at Home by Haas and Haas, and Hands-On Science: Motion by Schaefer and Santiago.
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