Scien-Trickery: Riddles in Science
Author: J. Patrick Lewis
Pages: 32 pages
Publisher/Date: Harcourt/2004
ISBN: 0152166815
Age Levels: 6-9

Book Review

Many (if not most) students in the six to nine age bracket love riddles. What a clever and fun way, then—using riddles—to introduce them to science topics such as lasers, oxygen, magnets, and electricity, among others.
Riddle me this:

Though each of us is smaller than a flea,
We've spread all over since eternity
(But you might think we come
from Germany ).

You know the sniffles, sneezes, and the flu
Because we've introduced them all to you.
We are the microscopic you-know-who.
The answer? Germs, of course!

The book contains eighteen riddles ranging from "Shell Game" which deals with the Galapagos Islands to "Go, Moon, Glow!" dealing with a lunar eclipse. The riddle is written on a small piece of blue-lined notebook paper which is surrounded by full-color artwork. The watercolor and colored pencil illustrations are full of children, action, and details that extend the riddle.

On the final page titled "Notes," the author has thoughtfully included interesting facts and additional information for each of the topics introduced in the riddles.

Classroom Experience: When we took the book into a third-grade classroom it wasn't long until every student was thinking furiously, brows furrowed, trying to be the first to solve the riddle. Teachers and students both had a giggling good time.

The author and illustrator have created another, similar book, Arithme-Tickle: An Even Number of Odd Riddle-Rhymes which you may want to consider pairing with this title for your classroom library.

Reviewed by the teachers at Education Oasis
©2005 Education Oasis

About the Author

J. Patrick Lewis is an award winning author of more than thirty-five books for children, including Freedom Like Sunlight: Praisesongs for Black Americans. He previously collaborated with Frank Remkiewicz on Arithme-Tickle: An Even Number of Odd Riddle-Rhymes. Mr. Lewis lives with his family in Ohio. Be sure to visit the author's website.

About the Illustrator

Frank Remkiewicz has illustrated more than sixty books for young people, most recently Froggy Goes to the Doctor and Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins. He lives with his family on the gulf coast of Florida.