Friends, I have a request. Recently, I have written not one, but two children’s books. They are like Magic School Bus books, but for younger kids. One is about friction and the other is about energy. I need some people to read them to their kids, and tell me what you and your kids think.
I promise I tried to make them fun. They are meant to be picture books, but since I have no drawing skills, I haven’t tried to illustrate them at all. I know that makes it harder for the kids to pay attention, but I just can’t draw. Anyway, if you want to read one or both, let me know in the comments, and I’ll send you a copy. I would just let you download it from here, but I want to have some idea who is reading them, so I can pester them for feedback.
Summary of Niels vs. Energy
Niels would take potential energy over kinetic any day. Kinetic energy has way too much motion, but Malena never gives him a rest, unless you call waiting to fall over the edge of a cliff a rest. Riding in a human-sized marble, Malena shows Niels just how dizzying turning one form of energy into another can be.
The top of that cliff has a lot of potential energy, enough to send Niels and Malena soaring across a field, bouncing off the trampoline, down through the funnel, over parked cars, and spiraling back up to the top. The temperature is rising; the marble is losing energy as heat. Adding just a touch of chemical energy, Malena gets them enough speed to get up and over those cars and back to the top of the hill.
Summary of Niels vs. Friction
Niels’ best friend Malena is determined to ski in the summer despite the lack of snow. It is only the friction they have to overcome she tells Niels. After catching on fire and skiing over gooey banana peels though, Niels might just stick to skiing in the winter.
Malena explains that friction is like tiny trucks on the skis driving up and down on microscopic mountains on the ramp. Niels helps sand off those microscopic mountains and catches on fire while doing so. By almost causing Malena to go tumbling down the ramp, Niels learns that friction is greater with two people on one set of skis. He also learns that while lubricants can be used to reduce friction, some lubricants are more effective and less smelly and messy than others.