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A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder by Walter Wick

1997; 40 pp. $16.95.

Scholastic Press.

How can photographs this exquisite not be slick? They aren't. They elicit awe?at a single drop of water falling in the air; at a drop splattering on a smooth surface to form a transparent crown; at moments caught as a drop first bulges at a faucet spout and then becomes a perfect sphere, hanging from a watersicle which in turn becomes a strand of minuscule beads as the drop breaks off, plops into water, and pops back up, a reflection of its falling self. Every page shows us what we see every day, but seen through Wick's eyes as though for the first time.

His design is equally thoughtful. A straight pin appears as a constant "character" in the book. It serves in the first pages as a scale: small against a splattering drop, huge where its head is covered with tiny droplets. Later it reappears, floating on water in an example of surface tension or indicating the diameters of glass tubes in a demonstration of capillary action.

The text is lucid and succinct. The last pages suggest further experiments. This book has won all sorts of prizes. Hooray! The book IS a prize.


ISBN: 0590221973

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