Reviews for Kitchen Science Experiments : How Does Your Mold Garden Grow?

Booklist Reviews 2010 December #1
Play with your food. Make a mummy from a dead fish. Find out how temperature and time affect the growth of microbes in milk. Biology and chemistry are part of daily life in this book of experiments in the Mad Science series, with a chatty interactive text and clear, hands-on directions and explanations of "what's going on." Safety tags warn about the dangers of heat, infection, cutting, and more, and the caution to "have an adult help" is a constant refrain. The language is as much fun as the science, including wordplay warnings ("Fungus among us"), and the design is inviting, with colorful diagrams on each spacious, double-page spread. Occasionally, the tone is a bit condescending ("You know, those teeny-tiny organisms"), but many students will be hooked by the fascinating revelations about the world around them. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Spring
Experiments exploring onion cells, yeast, bacteria, and mold found in homes are interspersed with scientific information about the underlying biological and chemical principles. The experiments are more advanced than your typical do-at-home recipes, requiring a microscope and chemicals not typically found in the house (but easily obtained). The cartoonlike illustrations include anthropomorphized microorganisms as well as realistic depictions of the required materials. Bib., ind. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2010 November #2

Bardhan-Quallen's latest collection (Last-Minute Science Fair Projects, 2006, etc.) includes 18 demonstrations and experiments. They range from simple cell observation to growing bacteria and fungi and using kitchen materials to demonstrate scientific principles, nicely graduated to encourage learning about experimental procedures and simple chemistry. Many experiments require the use of a simple microscope, and some call for bacterial culture plates, made at home with chicken broth and powdered agar. Adult supervision is suggested for cooking, cutting and handling strong chemicals and microwaved marshmallows. Clear step-by-step instructions call for readily available materials, include illustrations of the materials, equipment and some processes and usually fit on a single page. There are suggestions for extension activities. A "What's going on?" section explains potential results. These intriguing projects range from watching osmosis in action and testing plants for antibacterial properties to making a mummy from a fresh fish, dissolving eggshells and softening bones. Making ice cream demonstrates the phases of matter. Printed on glossy paper, this useful and interesting book will stand up to repeated handling in the kitchen lab. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)


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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 November #3

The 18 experiments in this collection, second in the Mad Science series, investigate micro-organisms thriving in kitchens. Using readily available materials (plus extras like powdered agar), readers can learn bacteria basics by taking samples from around the house and examining the growth in agar plates, inflating a balloon using yeast, and mummifying a fish with baking soda. Clear explanations of each experiment's end result make this a good choice for those just starting to tinker around with home chemistry sets. Ages 9-12. (Dec.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 February

Gr 5-7--The promised mold garden is only one of 18 activities in this collection. Introductory material covers microscope use and offers steps to become a "mad scientist," including, "Be prepared for anything." The first three chapters focus on cell properties, bacteria or single cells, and fungus, the unseen things that lurk around a kitchen. The section concludes with an activity to mummify a fish, scaled and gutted, demonstrating how decay is avoided. The final chapter covers a range of mostly chemistry-oriented experiments using acids and bases, oxidation, and Charles's Law. Background information and simplified explanations accompany each experiment, which is set apart in a recipe format using a smaller type size. Directions include few illustrations and broadly labeled steps, such as "Prepare the Fish," requiring careful reading. Safety reminders are highlighted when potentially dangerous supplies or equipment is used. The only photos are of a sampling of common bacteria. Cartoon spot art adds design interest. Many of the experiments are in other collections, but this combination is fresh. Readers will want to grab an apron and get started.--Carol S. Surges, McKinley Elementary School, Wauwatosa, WI

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