The Energy That Warms Us: A Look at Heat

The Energy That Warms Us: A Look at Heat

By: Jennifer Boothroyd
Publisher: Lerner Classroom
Publication Date: January 2011
ISBN: 978-0761371038
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: March 2011

Children gathered in a pool on a hot summer’s day can feel the toasty heat from the sun. You can feel it when you sip on a warm drink like hot chocolate. When you feel that warmth you are feeling heat which is “a form of energy.” You can feel the heat when you see a baker open an oven and pull out two hot loaves of bread. We use heat to bake some of our foods. Heat is “also used to make and shape things.” Perhaps you can think of other ways you can feel heat. In this book you’ll learn how heat is made or created. Take for example, we benefit from the sun’s energy which “heats Earth.” There is also heat that “comes from inside the Earth,” friction, the heat from a fire, and from inside our bodies.

There are three different ways that heat moves and you’ll learn that “Heat travels in liquids and gases by convection.” A drawing of a pot will show you how convection moves the water around in the pot until “all the water is equally warm.” You can take a look at a diagram of how “convection moves heat through gases in the air” and you’ll learn about conduction. If you’ve ever put a spoon into a hot bowl of soup you’ll soon learn that the conduction between the soup and the spoon will make the spoon hotter. You’ll also learn that “Heat travels through space by radiation,” how heat is measured, how we use thermometers, why “living things need to stay warm, and how “people and animals keep their bodies the right temperature.”

The print is large and the more fluent reader should be able to tackle the text (set up in five “chapters”) with minimal assistance from a teacher or by using the glossary. There are well chosen, vibrant photographs that illustrate the concepts being talked about. Captions with bullets also assist in understanding things like conduction. For example, there is a photograph of a cast iron pan on a board: “This wooden board keeps the metal pan’s heat from burning the tablecloth.” In the back of the book are instructions for a heat expansion activity, an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.

Quill says: This is an excellent book to introduce the young student to the science concept of energy.

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