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EARTH by Seymour Simon


A Shipmate's Guide to Our Solar System

by Seymour Simon

Pub Date: Sept. 3rd, 2012
Publisher: StarWalk Kids Media

Another eye-catching earth science book for kids by award-winning author and former teacher Simon (Coral Reefs, 2013, etc.).

Simon’s signature, vivid color photographs adorn this readable primary text, which begins by comparing the Earth to a spaceship on a long journey. As the ship’s inhabitants, we humans must “learn to use our supplies wisely and protect our planet carefully,” writes Simon. After the book briefly introduces readers to the planets in the solar system, it covers topics such as the Earth’s orbit, its main climate zones, the five layers of the atmosphere (troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere), the jet stream, and the oceans and continents. The book’s organization is a bit awkward, as there are no boldface headings or clear divisions of topics. However, there are additional notes about the photographs at the end of the book for curious readers. Tidbits of modern-day information sprinkled throughout the text should also pique kids’ interest; for example, according to the author, over 180 billion email messages are sent on the planet Earth each day. This book could also be used to teach children about diversity, as it includes facts about the populations of various continents; according to Simon, for example, 2 out of every 3 people on Earth live in Asia, in sharp contrast to Australia, where fewer than 1 out of 100 people live. Additionally, the kid-friendly tone is sure to leave a lasting impression; at one point, Simon describes the Earth as a “Goldilocks planet,” meaning it is neither too hot nor too cold, but “just right” for life to exist on it. He also adds a weather-themed tongue twister, which ends with the playful, memorable line: “We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not.”

A colorful kid’s-book supplement for reports, projects and science fairs.