Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers
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.