Thursday, January 24, 2008

Cold Light: Creatures, Discoveries and Inventions That Glow

Sitarski, Anita. 2007. COLD LIGHT: CREATURES, DISCOVERIES AND INVENTIONS THAT GLOW. Ill. by Kwon, Yoon-duck. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills. ISBN 9781590784686 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-12]

This book engages both children and adults with captivating photos and intriguing facts about the history and future of cold light. This is the chemistry that enables various rocks, fish, and some insects give off light without heat.

Sitarski conveys more than the facts about luminescence. She also depicts the way scientists evolved in their process of researching cold light from their first mistaken ideas about this phenomena to current information, inventions and a teaser as to what impact it may have on our very near future. Initially, an Italian scientist tried to make gold from a stone, but it glowed in the dark, instead. Through observation of a glowing chicken, scientist Robert Boyle began research into luminescence. Other scientists observed the “glow” of creatures under the sea and the research continued to include genetics, biochemistry and electronics. Information boxes, the bold pictures, and the easy to read text make for a book to share with everyone who has ever been a “twinkle bug” collector.

Identify the things that have cold light that are observable in home and school environments. Or work with children to research the inventions mentioned in the book, such as the use of cold light in medicine and car lights.

Other picture books dealing with science research:
Jenkins, Steve. LIVING COLOR. ISBN 9780618708970
Sayre, April Pulley. SECRETS OF SOUND. ISBN 9780618015146

By Susie Demarest

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