If you have ever planted a flower in your yard or a fruit or vegetable in a garden, then you have seen soil up close. But did you know that it can take up to 10,000 years to create mature soil? This book in the "Everybody Digs Soil" series explains the different factors that affect soil. All soil starts as rock, and over thousands of years the rock erodes and mixes with air, water, bacteria, plants, and more to form soil. This book discusses the many types of soil, such as mineral, silty, and clay, and explains how decayed plant and animal matter make soil fertile. It also covers what nutrients soil needs to flourish, how water affects soil, and aeration. Readers will be interested to learn how fresh air travels through soil and that much of the aeration is done by earthworms and digging animals. Other topics include weathering, erosion, and climate. The final chapter addresses the importance of soil conservation. Earth-toned pages and graphics combine with a clean, eye-catching layout to create a visually appealing series. Color photographs depict people of all ages working with soil in a variety of settings, various characteristics of soil, and examples of information presented in the text. "You dig it" sidebars encourage readers to experiment with soil to learn more about it. The information presented can at times be complex but thorough and concise explanations make it clear. A glossary, suggested further reading, helpful websites, and an index round out the book. Reviewer: Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6–Different Kinds describes how soil is different from dirt; layers, chemistry, and textures and types; and how the material is affected by climate, animals, and people. Micro Life discusses the various beings, from amoeba to larger living things such as slugs and fungi, that depend on soil, clearly explaining such concepts as symbiosis and the food cycle. Soil Erosion offers information on the many ways in which the process can occur, its dangers, and what can be done by children to stop it. The book also discusses positive effects of erosion. How Is Soil Made? is less useful than the other books because much of its content is covered in them, but overall this series enlivens a dry topic and provides solid basics on relevant subjects, complemented by quick and easy experiments and clear, well-captioned color photographs.