I Was Wondering: A Supplement to Childcraft - The How and Why Library
 9780716606918, 0716606917

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I

Was Wondering 1991

|

Digitized by the Internet Archive in

2011

http://www.archive.org/details/iwaswonderingsupOOchic

I \

Was Wondering

.

I A

Was Wonderiner —

supplement

to Childcraft

The

How and Why Library

^^

World Book, Inc. a SoDtt Fetzer company Chicago London Sydney Toronto

-•"Sassi,^

?5^

Copyright

©

World Book,

1991 Inc.

525 West Monroe

St.

Chicago, Illinois 60661 All rights reserved

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN

0-7166-0691-7

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 65-25105

Acknowledgments The publishers of Childcraft—The How and Why Library gratefully acknowledge the courtesy of the

&

Shepard Books, a Morrow and Co.,

Alive?" adapted from Hobie Hanson, You 're Weird, by Jamie Gilson. 1987 by Jamie Gilson. Copyright Inc.: "Is It

following publishers, agencies, authors, for permission to use copyrighted poems, stories, and illustrations in this volume. Full

and organizations

illustration

Lothrop, Lee

division of William

©

Reprinted by permission of William

Morrow

&

Company,

Inc.

acknowledgments appear on

"Can I Grow Freckles?" adapted from Freckle Juice by Judy Blume. Copyright © 1971 by Judy Blume. Reprinted by permission of Macmillan, Inc. and Octopus Publishing Group Library. Macmillan,

page 250. HarperCollins, Inc "Wild Strawberries" from A Light in the 1981 by Snake Eye Attic. Copyright Music, Inc Reprinted by permission of :

©

HarperCollins,

Inc.,

Inc.:

and Jonathan Cape. "To the Skeleton of a Dinosaur in a Museum," Copyright ® 1979 by Lilian Moore. Reprinted by permission of Marian Reiner for the Lilian Moore:

Henry Holt and Company, Inc.: "Why There Are Four Seasons in the Year," from The Earth Is on a Fish Back by 's

®

1965 by Natalia Belting. Copyright Natalia Belting. Reprinted by permission of Henry Holt and

Company,

Inc.

author.

William Morrow & Company, Inc.: "Rainbows" from Vacation Time. Copyright 1980 by Nikki Giovanni. Reprinted by permission of William

©

"Hide and Seek Shadow," by Margaret Hillert, from Farther Than Far Copyright © 1969. Used by permission by the author, who controls all rights.

Sandra

Liastos:

"Sea Wave." Used by

Morrow Anita

&

Company,

E. Posey:

Inc.

"When

All the World's Asleep." Reprinted by permission of Anita E. Posey.

permission of the author. First

appeared

in

Ranger Rick magazine

in

April 1980, published by the National Wildlife Federation. Secondly appeared

The Sea Is Calling Me, by Lee Bennett Hopkins (ed.) in 1986; published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. in

Norma Anchin Untermeyer: "Questions at Night," from Rainbow in the Sky. Copyright 1935 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc. Renewed 1963 by Louis Untermeyer. Reprinted by permission of Professional Publishing Services for

©

the author's estate.

Contents

Preface

The Wonder Why

Ah-Choo!

I

Grow

change

How

we

How

Keep on dreaming

can't

good

Why

— why do we do

feel

How

Why

"Sea Wave" is

did soil form?

Why

Simple

the Sky"

What happens

Why

if

are you

Simple Science:

How

How

How

can you clean

What happens

science:

"Questions at Night"

astronauts float?

What

do oceans and lakes have waves?

Space Wonders Simple Science:

do days get

do we have earthquakes?

the ocean floor like?

an ocean?

Why

Mighty mountains:

do volcanoes erupt?

Why

50

"Maui Tames the Sun"

does a volcano erupt?

What

it?

the earth spin?

you keep on digging? here?

Simple Science:

does hair keep growing?

Earth Wonders

we

dirt?

my shadow

does moisture change your hair?

longer and shorter? is

does

"Hide and Seek Shadow"

Simple Science:

Why

why we have them

Why

do shadows change?

to

How come

sneeze?

Freckles?"

size?

Down

10

Freckles and

I'm ticklish?

"Can

do

of Me!

to oil in

water?

104

Why

does the sky look blue?

does sunlight separate?

"Why

the

What's an eclipse?

Why

do

Sun and the Moon Live Simple Science:

can the moon block out the sun?

Is

in

How

anyone out there?

Weather Wonders Why

132

do clouds look different?

Why

Year"

"Rainbows"

is it

The true

tornadoes: Be alert!

Frost on the

story of rainbows

Simple Science:

Any new news about are fossils

Little lanterns:

orb web?

How

made?

How

How

in the

Seasons

some places? Hurricanes and do winds change?

"When

Museum"

Simple Science: All the World's Asleep"

do fireflies light up?

Why

Simple Science:

Where

Bug

noise:

What

don't spiders get stuck in

How

does a spider spin an

are the baby squirrels and pigeons?

can animals hibernate so long?

All Winter"

raining?

made?

172

dinosaurs?

crickets chirp?

their webs?

is it

window

"To the Skeleton of a Dinosaur

makes

rain

is

hotter or colder in

Wondrous Creatures

How

How

"Why There Are Four

Thunder and lightning in the

Why

"Clouds"

Simple Science:

snowing? hailing?

How

can fish breathe?

"Why Do

the Bear Sleeps

fish ever sleep?

Green Wonders Where do

208

What makes wild What is bark for? Simple Science:

Why

does

"Wild Strawberries"

Why do some flowers smell sweet? How does water travel up plants?

Answers

to "I

Books

Read

to

How

don't trees die in winter?

plants wild?

Mold: Plant or animal?

New Words Illustration

Index

Simple Science:

the leaves go?

composting work?

"Is It Alive?"

Wonder What This

Is."

245

247

Acknowledgments

251

250

242

Editorial Advisory for Childcraft-The

Board

How and Why

Chairman, William H. Nault, Ed.D., Litt.D.

General Chairman, Editorial Advisory

D

Library

Keith Osborn, Ph.D.

Special Editorial Advisor

Professor of Child Development,

Alvine Belisle

University of Georgia

Ecole de Bibliotheconomie,

Boards, World Book, Inc.

Universite de Montreal

Kay

E. Vandergrift, Ed.D.

Lilian G. Katz, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor,

The publisher wishes

Professor of Early Childhood Education

School of Communication, Information,

Heltne, President of the Chicago

and Director, ERIC Clearing House on Elementary and Early

and Library Studies, Rutgers University

Illinois,

Urbana-Champaign

to

thank Dr. Paul

of Sciences, Chicago, Illinois,

for his gracious assistance in

the manuscript of /

Childhood Education, University of

Academy

reviewing

Was Wondering:

Head, General Pediatrics,

and Ms. Lisa Hofman and students at Pritchett Elementary School in Buffalo

Department of

Grove,

Steven Waskerwitz, M.D. Pediatrics,

Illinois, for their

enthusiastic

Allegheny General Hospital,

assistance in testing the Simple Science

Pittsburgh

activities.

Art

Production

Staff Publisher William H. Nault Art Director

Editorial Editor in Chief

Roberta

Dimmer

Wilma Stevens Designer Donna Cook

Anne

Staff Editor

Amy

Valerie Nelson-Metlay

Associate Editor

Moses

Permissions Editor Janet

T

Peterson

Proofreaders Dillon

Marguerite Hoye

Contributing Artists Kenneth Izzi Mary-Ann Lupa Sandy Newell

Anne M. O'Malley

Stack, Director

Production Control Joann Seastrom

Assistant Art Director

Robert O. Zeleny

Executive Editor Dominic J. Miccolis

Pre-Press Services J. J.

Lucy Smith Ann Tomasic Brenda Tropinski

Daniel

J.

Marotta

Manufacturing Sandra Van den Broucke, Director Eva Bostedor, Assistant Manager

Research Services Mary Norton, Director Lynn Durbin

Index Services Bea Bertucci, Head

Production Artists Kelly Shea Doherty

Lesley Martin

Joyce Goldenstern

Penelope Nichols

Cheryl Prihoda

Writers

Andrew Chaikin Theresa Kryst Fertig Anita Cross Friedman Kathleen F Kain

Frances Fu

Loranne Shields

Photography Director John

S.

Marshall

Photographs Editor Geralyn Swietek



Preface Have you ever wondered where snowf lakes come from, or how spiders spin webs, or why earthquakes happen? Have you ever wondered

what makes your hair grow or why you're ticklish?

Wonders are everywhere, and

finding out about

them

fun!

is

This book takes a look at wondering.

Mainly,

it

answers

many

of the questions

that children like you ask.

poems show the funny

The

folk tales

The

stories

and

side of wondering.

show what imagination people

brought to their wondering questions long ago.

The "simple

science" activities help you

answer some wondering questions through experiments.

Look around you. Ask some questions.

Read and enjoy the book. Most of all keep on wondering!

The Wonder of Me!

Ah-Choo!

Why Do We Sneeze? Are you a loud sneezer or a sneezer?

Do you sneeze only

twice, or

many

quiet, dainty

once, sometimes

times in a row? Different

people sneeze in different ways. Doctors don't really

know why. Some say

it's

probably just habit. But one thing certain

is

—everyone sneezes. Have you ever

wondered why?

A

sneeze

is

a reflex.

It is

something your

body does that you can't control. happens. But

it

happens

It

just

for a reason.

A

sneeze protects you.

Getting ready for a sneeze!

^^

i

Your nose and lungs produce a liquid called

sticky

mucus. Mucus covers the walls

of your nasal cavity

—that

is,

the tunnel

behind your nose. Mucus serves an important purpose. Because

it is

sticky,

it

helps trap dust and dirt that you breathe in before

it

When

can get to your lungs. this dust

and

dirt collects

and

bothers the inside of your nose, you sneeze.

Germs and

bacteria, a certain smell,

smoke

from chimneys, or fumes from cars can also bother your nose. People with hay fever are often bothered by pollen or other tiny bits of

matter, called particles, from trees, grass,

and flowers. These

particles,

though you

can't see them, float through the air

and

13

That's better.

Sneezes help keep and germs away.

dirt

N you breathe them

in.

When you

have a

cold,

the Hning of your nose and lungs swells and

makes more mucus than

usual. This

swelling can be irritating to your nose, too.

Whatever the

cause, the tiny nerves in

your nose sense that something

is

wrong and

they send a message to the brain. The brain tells fill

your body to take a deep breath and

your lungs with

part of the sneeze.

air.

That's the aaaah

Then your

chest muscles

squeeze your chest very hard, sending a blast of air

up from your lungs and out of

your nose and mouth. That's the choo part.

The

dust, dirt, or other irritating particles

are blown out of your nose with the

14

air.

V

A

sneeze

your body's way of getting rid of

is

whatever

bothering your nose.

is

The explosion of air that forms a sneeze is

very powerful. The air

may

burst out of

your nose and mouth at a speed of about 100 miles (160 kilometers) an hour. Long ago,

people thought sneezing was a sign that the

sneezer was in danger, perhaps of dying. That's

how

the saying "God bless you"

began.

Now we know

that sneezes are not

dangerous, but spreading germs from a sneeze

is

not exactly healthful, either. So

remember

to cover

your nose and mouth the

next time your nose "explodes." Your family

and anyone

and

friends,

will

be grateful!

/

your path,

r

'

^s*^

else in

-—

—'—

fltg:

^

u>-

15

How Come I'm Ticklish? Where

are you most ticklish?

Under your

arms? Around your middle? Maybe the bottom of your all,

feet?

You're not ticklish at

you say? Some people claim they aren't

ticklish.

Maybe they

are just better at

concentrating and not laughing than the rest of us.

Did you ever wonder giggling

when someone

why you

can't help

gently moves their

fingers on your body? Doctors and scientists don't completely understand tickling. But

they do have some ideas about

"She'd better stop that tickling soon!

16

it.

There are very fine nerve endings that just beneath the surface of the skin.

lie

These

nerve endings are sensitive to the lightest of touches, such as a feather or a tiny

bug

crawling up your arm. These are the nerves

make you feel an itch or a tickle. You will usually start laughing when someone tickles you. Some experts think reason you laugh when you're tickled is that

the

17

Nerve endings can

make you

laugh!

more

your mind than on your skin. Have

in

you ever started

to

laugh before your tickler

even touched you? Sometimes just the waiting and knowing that those tickling

make you giggle. tickled too much? It's not

'"dingers are approaching

Do you ever get so much fun then. If your brother or sister, for instance, won't stop when you ask, the tickling can almost become painful. Some doctors believe that tickling

is

only pleasant

as long as you trust your tickler. So beware all

you

overdo!

18

ticklers:

keep

it

fun and don't

Just Wondering

Why

Can't

A good

question!

either.

If

you

your tickle

I

Tickle Myself?

No one

try to tickle

will

knows the answer, yourself, you know where really

land and that takes the surprise out.

That's one idea. But experimenters found that even

when people knew when and where a tickle would come, most of them still laughed when someone e/se tickled them.

you have all the it's not so much of an "attack" by someone else. The excitement of trying to get away

you try control, and If

to tickle yourself

or stopping the tickling isn't there.

excitement,

we

just don't laugh.

What do you

..'-it-v.-



-.

X



think?

And without the

Freckles and

Why We Have Them Every summer, Curtis wins the

freckle-

counting contest at his neighborhood

He

loves the stuffed animal

and the

pizza coupons that are his prize.

not love the freckles

"They make he complained.

them?"

When

tried to scrub



all

fair.

free

But he does

243 of them.

me look like a pet puppy," "Why can't I get rid of

Curtis was

much

them away.

It

younger, he

didn't work.

"Freckles are part of your skin color," his

dad explained. "You have them because

I

have them. That means they're hereditary (huh REHD uh ter

"You

ee)."

don't have

them now,"

replied

Curtis.

"No, not as many, but

was your

age,"

Dad

I

when I "When people

used to

explained.

get to be about 20 years old, they usually stop getting freckles.

You have

a checkup

with Doctor Phillips next week. Maybe he

can

tell

you more about

Curtis learned

freckles."

some interesting things

about freckles from the doctor. First of

all,

everyone's skin

makes a

substance called melanin (mehl uh nihn).

Melanin

20

is

the brown pigment or coloring

that determines the color of your skin.

Darker-skinned people have more melanin

than lighter-skinned people. The amount of

melanin each person has

is

set

by heredity.

uo you use sunscreen or sun block lotions on your skin? They protect you from the sun's most harmful rays.

22

That means

it

was passed

to

you from your

parents before you were born. In

some

people, melanin

is

not spread out

evenly over the skin but rather builds up in

These spots are

spots.

freckles. Freckles are

just patches of skin that

have more melanin

than the rest of your skin. Freckles most often show up on your face,

hands, and arms. This

is

probably because

these parts of your body are most often

touched by sunlight. The sun causes your

make more melanin.

skin to

That's

how you

get suntanned. But, if you have freckles, the

sun

will also increase the

become

melanin spots that

freckles. Usually, people

freckles are very light skinned easily.

with

and don't tan

Their freckles increase while the rest

of their skin stays light.

"That's

why

I

have more freckles

summertime," Curtis

in the

said.

"That's right," Doctor Phillips replied.

"You could stay out of the sun some

to prevent

freckles."

"Mom always makes me use sun block protect my skin from the sun," Curtis announced. "But there's no way stay out of the sun during

out on too

much

I

want

summer.

I'd

to

to

miss

fun. Besides, I'm getting to

like free pizza."

23



•I-

%••*«-

"

•«

•'•

»••••

'•.»•• -.^••.

^ •-•-7'.

«•.«"'•*•»•»"••«

Can I Grow Freckles? adapted from Freckle Juice, by Judy Blume

Andrew Marcus wanted freckles, just like Nicky Lane, who sat in front of him in school. Day after day, Andrew would try to count the freckles on the back of Nicky s neck. He could stop doing this and concentrate better in school and maybe his mother wouldn't make him wash his neck so often if he just had his own freckles!



sst

.

.

.

I



know how

Sharon whispered class filed out of the

to get freckles," to

Andrew

room one

as the

day. Sharon

had heard Andrew ask Nicky about where his freckles

know how

came from. "Do you want

to get

to

them?"

"Maybe," Andrew told her. "It'll

cost

you

fifty cents. I

have a secret

recipe for freckle juice," Sharon whispered.

"A secret recipe?" "Uh huh." "But you don't even have freckles!"

Andrew

continued.

"Look 24

my

close,"

nose."

Sharon

said. "I've got six

on

"I

"Big deal!

A

lot of

good

six'll

do."

many as you want. It depends on how much freckle juice you "You can

get as

all

drink."

Andrew

didn't believe

Sharon

for a

minute. But that night he kept thinking

about the freckle

juice.

Maybe

the reason no

one in his family had freckles was because

no one knew the secret even heard of freckle

juice,

they have any freckles? like the idea of

It

then how could

figured!

He

didn't

paying Sharon for anything.

But he decided that

if

work, he'd ask for his easy.

never

recipe. If they

the recipe didn't

money

back.

It

was

J



"*•-"- >.«*--«

.AlJt.

The next day the

after school,

way home. The

juice

was folded

his shoe.

his

mind not

he got home. Dashing

door,

he

to read

••••

* *

,

Vm

it

to the front

'•'



"••

rf



himself in and took off his shoe

as soon as he secret recipe it.

»

all

carefully in the bottom of

until

read

• • # • •

secret recipe for freckle

He made up let

Andrew ran

i^.^_Sa.aS

was and

inside.

sat

He

',

• •



.

pulled out the

down on the

floor to

It said:

• >

# « •



«



•«

• • •



\-

V'.

'.'1



*.

«

'X

• . • .

:::'-•!'

Andrew read the list twice. It didn't sound like much of a secret recipe. Well, he'd paid fifty cents. out,

He might

••



!

as well find

and he only had an hour before

mother would be home.



i

his 27

• » •

• •

-





,



#





••



* " •



climbed up on Andrew chmbed

the kitchen

counter so he could reach the cabinets.

found everything except the lemon

was

in the refrigerator

Marcus kept onions bin.

He

—that

%"

••



•• •









,