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Why Don't Cars Run on Apple Juice?

Real Science Questions from Real Kids

By Kira Vermond
Illustrated by Suharu Ogawa
Interest Age: 7–11
Grade: 2–6
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: SL.6.1,1c,3,4,5,6

Reading Level: Lexile 850L
Hardcover : 9781773213026, 88 pages, September 2019 , 10.5" x 9.0"
Paperback : 9781773213019, 88 pages, March 2021 , 10.5" x 9.0"
Ebook (EPUB) : 9781773213033, 88 pages, September 2019
Rights sold: Korean

Table of contents

Introduction /6

Chapter 1 /8 Whipping Up a Batch of Planet Earth
There’s a whole amazing world below your feet (and all around you)
Why is ocean water salty? /10
Why is some water turquoise and some water brown? /11
If metal sinks, how do boats float? /12
How does gravity keep us down? /13
Where does wind come from? /14
Why can’t we feel the Earth moving? /15
What came first, the tree or the seed? /16
How do trees know about seasons? /17
Is there enough food in the world? /18
Why don’t cars run on apple juice? /19

Chapter 2 /20
Creeping, Crawling, Living Things
From the smallest to the tallest, animals are born to be WILD
Why do worms come out when it rains? /22
Why don’t jellyfish have brains? /23
Can rats burp? /24
Why do we have different faces but ants do not? /25
How do whales sleep? /26
Why can’t you live with a wolf? /28
If a dog says “woof” will other dogs understand? /29
What’s the smartest animal on Earth? /30
How many unfound species are there in the world? /31

Chapter 3 /32
Human Bodies from the Inside Out
The skin you’re in houses your brain, heart, and a whole lot more
Why do my toots smell? /34
Why do you always have to go to the bathroom? /36
Why is poo brown? /37
Why are we tired when we run? /38
Why can’t humans breathe underwater? /39
Why do humans have two eyes? /40
Why do teeth fall out? /41
Why is everybody different? /42
How do people think without language? /44
Why do people find things funny? Why is everyone so funny? /45
Why do people need to sleep? /46
Why do we die? /47

Chapter 4 /48
Stars, Moons, Planets, and Outer Space
Gazing into the night sky just got way more interesting
Are there other creatures on other planets? /50
How do the stars stay in the sky? /52
What happens inside a black hole? /53
Why are planets round? /54
Will another asteroid hit Earth? /55
If I were to sneeze in outer space, would my head blow up? /56
Can sound move in space? /57
What causes a solar eclipse? /58
Why do diamonds rain onto Saturn? /59
If the universe is expanding, then what’s outside the universe? /60

Chapter 5 /62
Big Ideas About Past, Present, and Future
Mind-blowing, keep-you-up-at-night scientific theories change our experience of EVERYTHING around us
How did we discover the Big Bang? /64
Why are dinosaurs so BIG? /66
How do we really know a meteor killed the dinosaurs? /68
What would the world be like if dinosaurs were still alive? /70
Can we make dinosaurs from dino DNA? /71
How did the Ice Age start? /72
What is time? /74
Is time travel possible? /75
What hasn’t been invented? /76

Conclusion /78
Acknowledgments /80
Sources and Further Reading /82
Index /86
About the Author and Illustrator /88


Curious kids ask the best questions!

What keeps the stars from falling from the sky? Why do metal boats float? And more importantly, why don’t cars run on apple juice?! All these questions and more are found in the pages of this science Q & A book with questions from the most inquisitive of science center visitors—kids.

With help from a slew of scientists, author Kira Vermond serves up the answers to more than 50 quizzical queries in a fun and engaging style. Vibrant illustrations by Suharu Ogawa add to the appeal, making this a STEM-tastic gift for young graduates, science buffs, and everyone who loves to ask “Why?”.


  • Short-listed, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award 2020


“A breezy compendium for STEM-winders and casual browsers alike.” 

- Kirkus Reviews, 05/12/19

“One of the invaluable strengths of this book is that it makes it clear that no question is too silly to ask, even the questions about toots and poo. Every question is validated with a scientific answer . . . Why Don’t Cars Run on Apple Juice? shines with wonderment. Make sure you read it yourself before you put it into circulation in your classroom or library because, once you share it with your students, there will be a waiting list to read it. You may even want to buy two copies.”

- CM Reviews, *starred review, 06/07/19

“With cool, conversational panache, the browsable responses are neither overwhelmingly dense nor too simplistic.” 

- Quill & Quire, 07/19


- The Globe and Mail, 09/14/19

“The writing is engaging and age appropriate with each question succinctly tackled in a single dedicated page, easily digestible but still satisfying for readers. Preschool and elementary school teachers might utilize this book to explore a variety of science topics that fascinate students or to inspire them to ask their own questions.”

- School Library Connection, 11/19

“Questions are answered in plain, easy-to-understand language and in just a few paragraphs, making this title appropriate for all ages preschool and up . . . An appendix of further reading on science topics and delightful illustrations make this a classroom winner.” 

- School Library Journal, 08/01/19

“Colorful, humorous, conversational, and encouraging of further inquiry.”

- Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 10/02/19

“Filled with fun and fascinating answers to a whole slew of highly entertaining questions.” 

- The Globe and Mail, 12/06/19

“The illustrations are very cute and fun and help bring the idea to life.”

- SMS Nonfiction Book Reviews, 06/25/20

“Not only is this book a superb source of information, it has some beautiful artwork.” 

- Reader Fox, 08/24/20