Why? Answers to Everyday Scientific Questions by Joel Levy

(No Series)
Published Oct 29. 2013
Children, Nonfiction

Why? Answers to Everyday Scientific Questions gets to grips with concepts that appear simple and straightforward, but which most people, when asked, really can’t explain. Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why do we need sleep? Why are there 24 hours in a day? For each question, author Joel Levy provides a simple, single line answer followed by more in-depth information about the scientific background on these essential topics. The book spans physics, biology, chemistry, geology, geography, meteorology, paleontology and planetary science – allowing readers to wow friends and family alike with pithy answers to the obvious questions they never thought to ask.

A great book for children who have a curious nature or who enjoy science. Some of the content is interesting and I learned a few things myself.

Good questions and chapters such as:

  • Why is the Universe Expanding?
  • Why does the wind blow?
  • Why does Iron Rust?
  • Why does water freeze?
  • Why do things burn?

There a few odd questions that don't seem to belong in a science book though, especially "Why are babies and puppies seen as universally cute?"

There's this weird bit thrown in there too:

"Cute babies get more attention and are more likely to be looked after. Babies with tiny eyes, flat foreheads, and square faces unfortunately tend to get less attention."

I took off a star as the nonfiction book opens with a bible quote of all things, and then disagrees with it. The scripture it uses isn't even talking about not questioning things of science necessarily, is taken out of context, and the book quotes it without listing the scripture it's quoting from. It seems in poor taste to me.

It also makes clear that in the chapter on the greenhouse effect that if we continue at our current rate, the earth will not be inhabitable in a few centuries. It does not put in beyond this that it is very unlikely we would continue with the same usage, since very likely we will not be as dependent on the same fuel sources as heavily for the next hundred years.

Questions range from easy and clear such as Why do Apples Fall down, to more complex ones like "Why does E=mc2?" (I can't do the right 2 symbol on here...)

The book is divided into three segments - Nature and the Earth, The Human Body and Mind, Physics and Space.

Not perfect, but a good gift for young scientists and children if you run into it, especially with Christmas around the corner.