Things That Float and Things That Don’t

Book by David A. Adler

Review by Fatima Khan, Associate Producer,


Why is it that a piece of metal doesn’t float but a huge ship made of steel does? This book answers all your questions about density and flotation. STEM books are in high demand as it’s a unique way of knowing and exploring the world and this book by author David A. Adler provides a clear explanation of why some things float and others do not. This is a fun book about science that introduces children to the Scientific Method and explains the concept of density and the reason why different objects (and even the same object in a different form) float or sink.

It’s a great picture book that uses simple, hands-on activities leading young children to a fuller understanding of a scientific concept and I would recommend this for elementary school-age children. It can be surprising which objects float and which don’t. An apple floats, but a ball of aluminium foil does not. But if that same ball of foil is shaped into a boat, it floats! Why? This book does a great job explaining a tricky concept. Difficult concepts are explained in kid-friendly terms, and several investigations are suggested to help students grasp ideas.

The illustrations are very colourful and cartoonish. It effectively demonstrate the activities described in the text with large images that are easy to comprehend. A boy, a girl and a dog demonstrate things that float in water when they are less dense than the water around them. These kids can also be seen using toy boats, plastic bottles, pennies, aluminium foil, clay and ice to discover what things float and why. Adler suggests filling a sink with water and testing whether different objects float, as well as using modelling clay to demonstrate how shape is as important a factor as density.

This book can be a great addition in classroom and Libraries. It can be very helpful & useful for science teachers to explain to the kids this tricky concept of density and flotation in a fun & easy-to-understand way! The book can be further enhanced with more objective questions based on understanding.

This book is informative and points are well presented.

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