Touch It!: Materials, Matter and You


32 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55337-761-3
DDC j530





Illustrations by Claudia Dávila
Reviewed by Alice Kidd

Alice Kidd is an editor with The New Catalyst editorial collective in
Lillooet, B.C.


Move It! and Touch It! are two delightful additions to the physical
science bookshelf for young children (and their parents and teachers).

Move It! is about force, motion, friction, and gravity. Mason locates
“force” within the playful activities of the reader. The author
links easy manipulative activities to self-questioning to explore the
characteristics of motion. Her explanations are simple yet accurate,
providing basic conceptual building blocks for later learning. The final
summary is an excellent introduction to the First Law of Motion.

Touch It! introduces the characteristics of matter: mass, buoyancy,
texture, and magnetism. What do we see, hear, feel, taste when we
manipulate different types of material? How does this affect their use?
The book draws our attention to the qualities of the materials around

Claudia Dбvila’s illustrations are an important part of the books’
effectiveness. They support the text and model the activities described.
Although most of the characters pictured are preschoolers and
primary-aged children, I particularly liked the inclusion of older
humans as well as several animals.

The simple layout and humorous, colourful illustrations make these
books very appealing. There is a range of activities and experiments
that engage learners to explore the new concepts through their own
experience. A brief glossary, an index, and a section for parents and
teachers ing teddy bears, plastic wrap, toothpaste, and potato
chips—from the raw-material state to finished product. And it does so
in a way that makes the ordinary seem extraordinary. Each two-page
spread covers the making of one of 69 items. Fact boxes containing
trivia, history, and new terminology add colourful commentary to each
topic. Best of all are the whimsical illustrations of miniature factory
workers who demonstrate the process of manufacturing each item. Whether
they are bouncing on a wad of bubble gum or clipping the chin hairs on a
teddy bear, these charming characters will entertain readers as much as
inform them. And there is lots of information in this book to absorb.
While the concepts are often complex, the illustrations keep the content
light. In a book of this type, it is difficult to find the line between
too much information and not enough. Bill and Jim Slavin have managed to
navigate that line admirably. Recommended.


Mason, Adrienne., “Touch It!: Materials, Matter and You,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 24, 2024,