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Children's LiteratureFive previously written early readers that all deal with some aspect of our natural world have been brought together in this collection. The first one entitled Lightening harkens back to the 1965 blackout in New York and that was a real awakening as to how dependent our society is on electricity. Dussling explain how electricity works and the various types of electricity. She also relates some of the ancient myths relating to this unexplainable noise and light (thunder and lightning) and Ben Franklin's experiment that proved lightning is a form of electricity. Kids are cautioned not to try and copy his experiment. In the next book Planets, Dussling explains where the word planet comes from and what a planet is. Mercury, like other planets, was named after a Roman god and even though it is closest to the sun, Venus is hotter. Why? The clouds on Venus keep the heat in. Major astronomers and their discoveries and the current controversy about designating Pluto as a planet are presented. Delightful, cut paper collages add a little extra to this excellent introduction to the planets. Volcanoes is also illustrated with cut paper collage and it does an excellent job of explaining why volcanoes occur, where they are prevalent and how dangerous they can be. Author Nirgiotis also includes some of the positive benefits—birth of islands and enrichment of the soil. Storm Chasers describes people who intentionally follow tornados hoping to experience them up close and learn more about them. Kids will learn all about tornadoes and the destruction they can cause. The final selection, Terror Below, tends to sensationalize the negative about sharks, just form itsvery title. Even though sharks do not harm or kill that many people and serve a useful purpose in eating the weak and injured fish, their attacks seem to garner a lot of press and interest. This reader describes a few narrow escapes. All of the books are well written, filled with excellent illustrations and useful for school and home libraries. A Station Stop 3 book in the "All Aboard Reading" series. 2003, Grosset & Dunlap, Ages 7 to 9.
— Marilyn Courtot