Clang! History, Science and Music

Clang! 3 Reasons to Read & Buy | Mims House. School Library Journal says useful for " history and science and music."


CLANG! ERNST CHLADNI’S SOUND EXPERIMENTS has been reviewed in School Library Journal.

From School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Pattison and Willis introduce Ernst Chladni, aka the Father of Acoustics, to young children through an engaging narrative and colorful cartoon illustrations. Chladni was a German scientist who traveled Europe entertaining people by explaining and demonstrating the science of sound in the early 1800s. The meeting between Chladni and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is the main focus of this telling. Willis’s charming artwork provides realistic representations of Chladni’s inventions while staying true to the fun cartoon style of the rest of the story. Pattison includes German and French words, acknowledging the language barrier that the scientist faced when describing his research on the science of sound. Included in the back matter is more information about Chladni’s instruments, his life, and additional historical context. The book can be utilized in the classroom for a variety of curriculum connections from history and science to music. Pattison’s and Willis’s early collaboration Burn: Michael Faraday’s Candle is an equally enjoyable read. VERDICT An additional purchase for elementary school libraries. —Aileen Barton, Sherman Public Library, TX

“Engaging Narrative” says School Library Journal

The reviewer “got” this book, calling it an “engaging narrative.” The illustrations by Peter Wills are “charming.”

This is the second book in the Moments in Science series. The first two focused on elementary physics. Next year, we’ll add two new titles to the series:

  • BURN: Michael Faraday’s Candle
  • POLLEN: Darwin’s 130-Year Prediction, Spring 2019
  • ECLIPSE: How the 1919 Eclipse Proved Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity, Fall, 2019

Peter Willis will be back with exciting illustrations that make the science fun and interesting. Charming!

3 Reasons to Read and Buy

As the SLJ review says, this book is useful for three content areas:

  1. HISTORY. Clang is the story of how Ernst Chladni met with Napoleon Bonaparte and earned a huge stipend to write his book about acoustics – in French. Placing scientists into context of history is important. Also fascinating is how the French and Germans cooperated to further the needs of science. Also of historical interest is the musical instrument that Chladni invented, the clavicylinder.
  2. SCIENCE. While the focus is on the historical event of Chladni meeting Bonaparte, there’s also science about sound. Chladni studied how sound travels in solids. The book explains how sound makes wires, columns of air, and solids vibrate.
  3. MUSIC. To understand music means you must understand sound. Music is a pleasant arrangement of sounds. The book shows how sound is created by vibrating wires, columns of air, and solids.

For extra reading: NOTHING STOPPED SOPHIE: The Story of the Unstoppable Mathematician Sophie German

Nothing Stopped Sophie - Companion book to CLANG! Ernst Chladni's Sound Experiments | MimsHouse.com

While Ernst Chladni understood the science of his experiments, he didn’t fully understand the math behind the sound. Napoleon was also interested in the mathematical formulas. He offered a math prize to anyone who could solve the math. It was eventually won by French mathematician, Sophie German. This charming book tells her story. These two books make perfect companion books for the study of sound.


For a Elementary Physical Science companion book, consider, BURN: Michael Faraday’s Candle. BURN is a discussion of light, while CLANG! covers sound. Together, they cover the Next Gen Science Standards for elementary physical science.

Covers of BURN and CLANG, elementary science books about light and sound | MimsHouse.com