Physics: Why Matter Matters --science made fun for Non-fiction Monday

Physics: Why Matter Matters! created by Simon Basher, written by Dan Green (Kingfisher, 2008, 128 pages)

One of the highlights of my recent foray to the ALA exhibit hall was discovering a series of non-fiction books that seemed tailor-made for my boys (aged 7 and 9). In their books, Basher and Green have collaborated to bring science to life with utterly charming characterizations of scientific principles-funny little cartoon dudes--who explain, in simple terms, just what they are and what they do.

I was very happy to get a copy of Physics to bring home with me (thanks, Kingfisher!), and it was greeted enthusiastically by those waiting at home for Mama. Each dude included in this book (and there are many, ranging from the Old School friends like Gravity to the cool far out there ones like the Beta Particle) gets a page of text, with a full color picture facing it. A few introductory descriptive facts set the stage for a monologue by each physics principle, followed by a few more specifics, like the date of its discovery. There's also a helpful glossary and an index. The result is a book that can be enjoyed enthusiastically and repeatedly, and which may cause some tension as the dear children try to snatch it out of each other's hands.

I particularly enjoyed reading out loud what Entropy had to say for itself (in as much as Entropy is my nemesis)--"I always increase, and I work in one direction only--things NEVER get neater unless you put some effort in" (page 36). The seven year old liked Gamma Ray best -- "mean, lean and full of beans--I travel at the speed of light and cut right through any material as if it wasn't there" (page 74); the nine year old's favorite was Black Body Radiation--"A ninjalike shadow who swallows and slays the Light Crew" (page 40).

I'm still not entirely sure I understand really truly what a Bosun Particle is, but I am very sure that this book has both entertained and educated all of us.

Here's the list of all the books in the series. My sons want them all, and I'm pretty sure that they will indeed be getting them. Edited to add: for more fun, here is the Basher website.
Today's Non-Fiction Monday Round-Up is at 5 Great Books.


  1. I do not know this series....well, now I do, thanks to you! I think I personally could learn a great deal and it would be fun!

  2. Science and humor, always a good combination. Can't wait to take a look, thanks.

  3. I hope you both find and enjoy them!

  4. Please check out the new Basher web site to learn more: www.basherbooks.com

    Enjoy! Angus Killick, US Publisher for Kingfisher


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