Why Can't I Feel the Earth Spinning?: And Other Vital Questions about Science

Image of Why Can't I Feel the Earth Spinning?: And Other Vital Questions about Science
Release Date: 
October 9, 2018
Thames & Hudson
Reviewed by: 

At first glance, Why Can’t I Feel the Earth Spinning? seems to be a book of random and interesting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) facts. It has 21 chapters, a one-page glossary, and a two-page index. What do plants eat? is a chapter on photosynthesis. How was the Earth made? is a chapter explaining the Big Bang. Why is bread full of bubbles? is a chapter about yeast and fermentation.

Each chapter gets four pages of text and art or photographs. The chapter Why Do I Have to Wash? explains about microbes, sepsis, why our skin sheds, and how diet affects our health. The visuals include a black and white photo of boys washing over metal basins at summer camp, magnified eyelash mites on a human face, the head of a shedding snake, and a drawing of a 16th century Arctic expedition by Dutch sailors. The last visual refers to polar bear liver and how the vitamin A in it killed humans after they ate it.

The gross factor will appeal to boys and girls wanting to become scientists. The chapter Are Maps Always Right? also talks about cameras, telescopes, and human eyes. The Why Does my Hair Grow? chapter also covers the human tongue and blood vessels. The Why Do Stars Twinkle chapter also covers the Hubble Space Telescope, constellations, how close the moon is, and whether or not there could be life on Mars.

Later in the book, there is a chapter called Could I Live on Mars? It also covers a space vacation, how fast a rocket is, and is there really a man in the moon? It should at least be the consecutive chapter to Why Do Stars Twinkle (page 47), but instead it is on page 80.

The How Do Airplanes Stay Up? chapter also covers questions like, Can cars fly? How do objects move (physics)? and mercury poisoning.

Although some four-page chapters seem to be grouped together in a random fashion, many other chapters are as tight as a drum. Why is the Sea Blue? also discusses what lives at the bottom of the sea, living in a submarine, and deep sea diving. The mountain chapter is tight, as is the thunder and lightning four-page chapter, and the one about sleeping and dreams.

Aside from the random layout of the book, science-loving kids will enjoy finding out the answers to the many questions in this book. Maybe the ones that didn’t think they liked science will find out that it can be interesting when presented in this question and answer format.

The end papers are aqua with white question marks. This 96-page book is more fun than any science textbook I ever used in school.

Why Can’t I Feel the Earth Spinning? would be great in classrooms for grades two through four and maybe older. After all, this reviewer learned a thing or two.