By Jordan D. Brown & Dr. Viskus von Fickleschmutz, Illustrated by Anthony Owlsey
Charlesbridge, $14.95, 80 pages

Some books just try too hard to be fun. Crazy Concoctions gives kids hands-on fun with science, with a number of experiments that can be easily done in any decently equipped kitchen. With all of the gels, dough, and explosive potions found in the book, a kid with careful parental supervision will not only be entertained for weeks, but also learn something along the way. There are recipes for baking soda fizzes and even fake blood. For a curious kid, this is one of the best handbooks ever. The character Dr. Viskus Fickleschmutz may annoy some readers. Author Jordan D. Brown includes the doctor to add colorful commentary and scientific explanations. Kids will enjoy the book, especially given the online video suggestions. Anthony Owsley’s illustrations are quirky and silly. Readers are introduces them the scientific method as well as famous scientists. This book demonstrates to younger readers how fun learning about science can be.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim