Newton and Curie: the Science Squirrels by Daniel Kirk

Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

Newton and Curie: The Science Squirrels - Kindle edition by Kirk, Daniel.  Children Kindle eBooks @

Summary:  A falling apple sparks Newton’s curiosity about how the world works.  This leads him to ask other questions about the kids he sees playing on a school playground.  Using lessons he learns about simple machines from listening in to the kids’ classroom, he builds a squirrel-size swing and seesaw that his younger sister Curie enjoys playing on.  Things take a more serious turn when a robin’s nest falls out of a tree.  The two squirrels use a lever and a pulley to solve the problem and get their friends’ nest and eggs back up to safety.  Includes an author’s note with additional information about Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, and physics; a glossary; and a list of websites with more scientific information for kids.  40 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  There aren’t many books that introduce simple machines and physical science to early elementary kids, and this one does it with two adorable squirrels and easy-to-understand explanations.  

Cons:  Newton’s curiosity drove the activities, and he did about 90% of the problem solving.  It would have been nice to see Curie more engaged with the science instead of blowing it off to eat or play tag.

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