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While You're Waiting for the Food to Come by Eric Muller


Book Review

While You're Waiting for the Food to Come: A Tabletop Science Activity Book : Experiments and Tricks That Can Be Done at a Restaurant, the Dining Room Table, or Wherever Food Is Served by Eric Muller, illustrated by Eldon Doty (Orchard Books, 1999)

Ages 10 and up, younger with adult help.

This book has over 30 science-related tricks and demonstrations you can do with materials available at typical restaurant tables. Some are cast as magic tricks, others as experiments, and others as just really cool gee-whiz demonstrations.

Whether you'd actually allow your child to do these at a real restaurant depends on your tolerance for dining hijinks. Many of the experiments create at least a small mess at the table, and a few can be noisy. Muller has thoughtfully rated each activity by level of attention you're likely to get from nearby tables.

The writing is cheerful, snappy, and clearly aimed at kids (as in, "Please remember to check with a parent first to make sure your chosen mealtime activity is appropriate."). Science is clearly more than an afterthought - Muller's science explanations are generous in length compared to many books of this type, and take kids beyond the activity to related phenomenon.

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