written and illustrated by Jason Chin
2014 (Roaring Brook Press)
Source: Orange County Public Library
Check out STEM Friday for more book reviews.
When reading Gravity, the first thing that struck me was the sparseness of the text. As Travis at 100 Scope Notes points out in his excellent review of this book, you just don't see a lot of good nonfiction for the early primary grades. It's a tough task to take a complex subject and break it down for our youngest students. There are only a few words on each page, but Jason Chin chooses the right words and has such rich illustrations that this is not a problem. He explains that this thing called gravity keeps objects from floating away from the Earth. Not only small objects like sand buckets and bananas, but also giant things like planets. Reading this book makes you want to say, "Phew, glad I have gravity!". Of course, I could have used a little less of it when I was playing high school basketball, but let's not go down that sad road. Chin goes on to explain that gravity not only keeps things from floating away, but within that same concept it keeps things together like the Earth near the Sun or the Moon near the Earth.
In the back matter, you will find two excellent pages that go in depth with more details about gravity. You learn why some objects have greater gravity than others and find out about the terms mass, orbit, and weight. Jason Chin does fantastic work as evidenced by his previous books. He is certainly deserving of an author study in K-2.
Here's a cool experiment that I found on the Bright Hub Education site: