First, this is no typical book. It is actually a massive 15 foot fold-out chart of the earth from the inside out. It covers earth composition from the core all the way to the outer atmosphere and everything in between. Because it is accordion folded, however, you don’t have to hang it as a chart. It is easy to flip through to the section you need without having to worry with opening the entire chart.
We actually reference this book quite often. For instance, after a field trip to a local gold mine, we decided to investigate soil and rock layers. This book gave us an easy visualization of the soil layers, and brief descriptions of each.
We also discovered a bit more information about the water table, which our guide had mentioned during the mine tour. It gave the boys an, “oh, that’s what she was talking about!” moment.
Because the boys had learned all about mines, they then began to flip through the book and learn all about caves.
They learned all about types of caves, rock formations found in caves, cave-dwelling creatures, underwater caves, etc. Of course, after talking about underground water, we then had to flip to the section on the water cycle, which led to our study of weather, cloud formations, atmosphere… you get the idea. In other words, this book can take kids’ curiosity into a great number of directions, keeping the information interesting and simple enough that kids will actually want to research topics even further.
While not a completely in-depth reference tool, I would consider this an excellent quick-reference guide. For visual and hands-on learners, the layout of the book and stimulating pictures definitely provide a wonderful springboard for further research into topics that capture students’ attention. I believe that the interest and enthusiasm that this book can spark in even the most reluctant learners makes it an invaluable resource.
Disclaimer: I was provided a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions and review. I received no compensation.