The Missing Cuckoo Clock by Lynda Beauregard is the 5th in the Summer Camp Science Mystieries series of books. Here we join the kids at Camp Dakota and meet our newest camper, Megan. We learn more about gravity throughout the book, starting with how gravity powers a cuckoo clock.
Throughout the book, we see the kids being kids – doing the sort of things that kids would do at summer camp. They swim, and we learn about center of gravity. We learn a bit about how gravity can compress our spines throughout the day as Megan learns she isn’t tall enough to ride a horse. The kids make a gravity-powered clock using water and some cups. We even learn a bit about how gravity affects everything the same, though other properties such as surface area can work to counteract those effects.
The book is well illustrated – definitely a graphic novel as opposed to just a comic book. The key points are called out in a separate panel to draw attention to them, but never in a long, drawn-out way. The explanations work well for the elementary-aged target group and the book is filled with small bits of humor to keep the kids entertained. It’s not a long read, but introduces some basic concepts of gravity and physics to kids. There are some experiments and questions at the end of the book to help the readers solidify their understanding or to try out some of the concepts.
My Take: I think this is a pretty good resource for younger kids to start learning some basics of gravity. It’s not a text book, but if this is something that the kids need to understand, it can be an aid to get them interested to learn more about it in a fun manner. I actually look forward to reading through some more of this series. They’re short reads, entertaining, and I think well-produced for this age group.
Disclaimer: I was provided with a preview copy of this book with no expectations on anyone’s part. The opinions expressed are my own and were not influenced by anyone else.