VOLCANO RISING by Elizabeth Rusch


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Age Range: 6 - 10
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Blowing their tops off, growing taller and wider, and forming new mountains and islands, volcanoes can be both destructive and creative. Extraordinary illustrations complement this description of eight extraordinary Earth events.

A dual-level narrative provides both a simple explanation of how volcanoes work and longer paragraphs that go into greater depth. Rusch offers as examples eight volcanoes from around the world. From barely perceptible swellings of the land in central Oregon to a whole new island in Iceland and the vast caldera left by explosions in the Yellowstone area, the variety of volcanic activities may surprise readers. The text is set on gorgeous full-bleed images, sometimes realistic and sometimes allusive. Swan has digitally manipulated collages of found objects, textures and hand-painted papers, putting them together in ways that suggest the varied scenery of her examples. Palm trees, puffins and people give depth to vast landscapes. The colors are particularly striking: jade and turquoise waters, red and orange magma and hot lava, shades of gray and brown for the ash. In her read-aloud text, Rusch makes plentiful use of onomatopoetic words: “Pow!” “Hisssss!” “Gurgle,” “Tssss.” The fuller explanations introduce, define and, when necessary, offer a suggested pronunciation for more technical words: pahoehoe (a kind of cooled lava surface), tephra, lava bombs.

A clever and appealing introduction to a remarkable natural phenomenon. (glossary, bibliography, further reading) (Informational picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-58089-408-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013


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