A stellar guide that engages readers with rocks, minerals, fossils, and shells.



From the Outdoor School series

Divided into well-organized, color-coded parts, this entry in the Outdoor School series promotes a get-out-there-and-do-it approach.

The book opens with “Rocks & Minerals,” covering the differences between the two, basic geology, and how rocks form. Armed with this knowledge, readers are encouraged to find rock samples and are walked through questions to classify their discoveries. Accessible and encouraging language as well as space to write down findings and check off tasks accomplished make this science fun and personal. The second section, “Fossils,” builds on readers’ acquired knowledge that sedimentary rocks are the best place to find fossils and gives them the tools needed to go out searching on their own. Information on setting up a dig, stabilizing delicate fossils, numbering discoveries, and more, is presented. A basic geologic time scale assists in identifying fossil age. The final part, “Shells,” has the same informative and user-friendly organization. Information on how shells are formed and their basic classification categories is paired with the hands-on activities of finding, cleaning, labelling, and identifying. Each section concludes with an illustrated informational guide showing common examples of the specimens under consideration and covering a broad geographical distribution. The superb content is presented in a sturdily bound volume with metal-edged corners that will hold up well in field conditions.

A stellar guide that engages readers with rocks, minerals, fossils, and shells. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-16)

Pub Date: April 27, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-23065-2

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Odd Dot

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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The author of Cod (1997) successfully provides readers with a frightening look at the looming destruction of the oceans. Brief sections in graphic-novel format follow a young girl, Ailat, and her father over a couple of decades as the condition of the ocean grows increasingly dire, eventually an orange, slimy mess mostly occupied by jellyfish and leatherback turtles. At the end, Ailat’s young daughter doesn’t even know what the word fish means. This is juxtaposed against nonfiction chapters with topics including types of fishing equipment and the damage each causes, a history of the destruction of the cod and its consequences, the international politics of the fishing industry and the effects of pollution and global warming. The final chapter lists of some actions readers could take to attempt to reverse the damage: not eating certain types of fish, joining environmental groups, writing to government officials, picketing seafood stores that sell endangered fish, etc. Whenever an important point is to be made, font size increases dramatically, sometimes so that a single sentence fills a page—attention-getting but distractingly so. While it abounds with information, sadly, no sources are cited, undermining reliability. Additionally, there are no index and no recommended bibliography for further research, diminishing this effort’s value as a resource. Depressing and scary yet grimly entertaining. (Nonfiction/graphic-novel hybrid. 10 & up)

Pub Date: April 18, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7611-5607-9

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Workman

Review Posted Online: April 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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From the artist who created last year's shoutingly vivid Growing Vegetable Soup, a companion volume about raising a flower garden. "Mom and I" plant bulbs (even rhizomes), choose seeds, buy seedlings, and altogether grow about 20 species. Unlike the vegetables, whose juxtaposed colors were almost painfully bright, the flowers make a splendidly gaudy array, first taken together and then interestingly grouped by color—the pages vary in size here so that colored strips down the right-hand side combine to make a broad rainbow. Bold, stylish, and indubitably inspired by real flowers, there is still (as with its predecessor) a link missing between these illustrations with their large, solid areas of color and the real experience of a garden. The stylized forms are almost more abstractions than representations (and why is the daisy yellow?). There is also little sense of the relative times for growing and blooming—everything seems to come almost at once. Perhaps the trouble is that Ehlert has captured all the color of the garden, but not its subtle gradations or the light, the space, the air, and the continual movement and change.

Pub Date: March 21, 1988

ISBN: 0152063048

Page Count: 66

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: April 24, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1988

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