Earthsteps: A Rock's Journey through Time


Readers learn about geology by following a rock through time.

Describes the geological setting for the transformation of a rock to a grain of sand over the course of millions of years.

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Readers learn about geology by following a rock through time.

Describes the geological setting for the transformation of a rock to a grain of sand over the course of millions of years.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
A large chunk of granite breaks away from the mountain and lands on a rock pile near a shallow pond. The journey from igneous rock to sedimentary rock has begun. Though it will take many millions of years and will cover many relative time periods, the reader is kept interested because the format for this journey is a story, with the rock being the main character. This rock-cycle story is enhanced by geologically accurate descriptions and illustrations of creatures, plants, conditions and their effects on the rock's journey. Even young children will be interested in the process that turns rock into sand and then back into rock. The only difficult aspect for children (and perhaps adults) to comprehend is the expanse of time. Many millions of years, from Permian to present day, is a difficult concept to grasp when we are accustomed to dealing with a much smaller time frame on a day to day basis. This is, however, a very educational and noteworthy book, for it combines two or more lessons into one. Teachers and parents will recognize that this is one of those books. Science, reading and listening, and comprehension skills can all be addressed with this book. It also includes a geologic time scale, an especially helpful glossary and a bibliography. 2000, Fulcrum,
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-The 250-million-year journey of a rock is told, from its first fall from a mountaintop to its formation into sandstone. The book opens with a nicely rendered geologic time scale that highlights the various periods and changes that occurred. Attractive illustrations have the appearance of dioramas created with animal toys, leaves, and shells. The rock's journey is geologically accurate, moving from large to small through the effects of weathering. The animals that pass by it, particularly the dinosaurs, add interest. The problem with this book is that the story format and the science don't mesh. While the whole sweep of geologic history is surely dramatic, the tale of one random rock lacks the characterization necessary for a good story. The rock, appropriately not personified, is unaware of what is happening to it. Whole geologic periods pass with the slightest note: "Permian conifers surrounded the pond." The language, necessarily scientific and defined in a glossary, doesn't help to move the story along: "Imbedded in the alluvial fan, the rock overlooked a shallow pond." Children drawn to the illustrations are unlikely to have enough prior geologic knowledge to stick with the text. Still, there will be a few very young, gifted geologists who will find this fascinating.-Ellen Heath, Orchard School, Ridgewood, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781555917302
  • Publisher: Fulcrum Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/1/2010
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,443,922
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Diane Nelson Spickert has been a geologist for more than 20 years. She has enjoyed volunteering as a guide for Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison, Colorado, and teaching geology at local elementary schools. Marianne D. Wallace is a natural science illustrator and writer whose work has appeared in over 30 books and publications. She has also been an elementary school science teacher, a botanic garden tour guide, and a writer for the US Forest Service. She lives in the foothills of Southern California.
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    This is a great book!

    Beautiful illustrations, great scientific detail, and a fun story mak this book a great one for anyone interested in dinosaurs and geology!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2001

    Everyone will enjoy Earthsteps!

    Diane Nelson Spickert has written beautiful and deceptively simple text describing the geological process in terms her reader can understand and enjoy. The lovely illustrations complement the text perfectly. Because the subject matter is set forth so invitingly, even the kindergartners for whom I substitute teach regularly, listened intently and asked questions afterward. This book should be a part of every science teacher's curriculum- it makes learning fun, no matter what your age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    Excellent Introduction to Geologic Time and Processes.

    The story and pictures are so much fun AND educational that I bought 5 copies and donated them to my childrens' school libraries. The story's main thesis is that Earth's crust is in a constant state of erosion, deposition, and upheaval. Over geologic time (i.e. millions of years), the cycle repeats itself again and again. It is an excellent primer on the concept of geologic time and earth processes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    Earthsteps is fascinating

    My grandchildren loved Earthsteps, and it has inspired a new interest in the rocks around us. Through the book, we understand the author's love of geology.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2001

    Excellent Geology Concepts for Children

    This book adds a great way to Teach Children about Geology and Earth Science. In fact, the adult reader learns many things he or she may not have known either. It's clear the author wants to engage the reader into seeing the excitement of the geologic cycle,to teach earth science to children using scientific terms, and to make the concept interesting to a young person. The book is beautifully illustrated, and exceptionally well written. The author has an excellent background in geology and wants to impart her interest in the field to the children. The illustrations are colorful and very well done. They catch the eye of each reader, and captivate the children as they listen carefully to the story. Each child I have read the book to, wants it read again and again. It's nice to know the children are learning something from a book being read. They want the book read again and again, and develop a new perspective of what a rock really is. I look forward to other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2001

    Historically accurate child's book on geology

    Believe me it is hard to find an historically accurate children's book on the subject of geology. This one is excellent and scientifically sound, too. We had to go through many, many books about dinosaurs in our effort to find out how the earth was formed over time. This one is explains it all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2010

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