An appreciative introduction to the planet we call home.
Chapter by chapter the author, a Dutch writer of nonfiction books for young readers, covers the Earth’s origins, its position in the solar system, its composition (various forms of rock, water, and air), and its ever growing number of human occupants. Via Watkinson’s translation, he explains complex concepts in relatively simple words, using familiar examples. The layers of the Earth’s rock are compared to the layers of a “mega club sandwich” (amusingly illustrated by Panders), for instance. He picks facts that young readers are likely to appreciate and perhaps retain. He explains climate change clearly, bringing it home with sample news headlines from Sept. 8, 2106, and offers some sensible suggestions that readers can personally effect to slow the process. He also suggests ways to survive extreme weather events: hurricanes, tornadoes, landslides, floods, droughts, and forest fires. He describes the movement of human beings from the first tribes to leave their home valley through the eventual population of every continent to the exploration and mapping of the world, mostly by Europeans—the publisher reminds readers that many of these explorers were really conquerors of peoples already living in the places they found. While any survey of earth science will include some oversimplifications, this information seems reasonably accurate. The translation is very smooth, and the facts are extensively footnoted. There is no index.
Earth science engagingly presented for middle-grade readers. (notes) (Nonfiction. 9-14)