How Mountains Are Made

How Mountains Are Made

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by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, James Graham Hale

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Packed with diagrams and maps, this simple and engaging first look at earth science describes plate tectonic theory –– how the continents rest on slow moving plates –– and how the forces of nature sculpt our world. "Zoehfeld presents plenty of good basic information...colorful illustrations add appeal."—K.

Outstanding Science Trade


Packed with diagrams and maps, this simple and engaging first look at earth science describes plate tectonic theory –– how the continents rest on slow moving plates –– and how the forces of nature sculpt our world. "Zoehfeld presents plenty of good basic information...colorful illustrations add appeal."—K.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children 1995 (NSTA/CBC)

Author Biography: Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld has written many books for children, including How Mountains Are Made, What Is the World Made Of?, and What Lives in a Shell? in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Ms. Zoehfeld lives in Norwalk, CT.

Lucia Washburn's first book for young readers was Look to the North by Jean Craighead George. She lives in Petaluma, CA.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dia L. Michels
This book explains a big subject to little people. A group of kids hikes up a mountain and discover an ocean fossil. In learning why a fossil was on the mountain, they also learn about the four different types of mountains: folded, dome, fault-block, and volcanic. The kids discover that mountains are hardly static: some are shrinking, through the long-term effects of rain, wind and ice, while others are growing. Mt. Everest may be rising as much as 2 inches a year. This is a nice presentation of the complex geologic workings of our planet and gives kids manageable ways to think about the vast piles of rock that we call mountains. "Let's-Read-&-Find-Out Science" series-Stage 2.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-3In this clear, concise presentation, four children introduce the subject of mountain formation by taking a hike in their local community. The youngsters appear throughout the book, commenting in dialogue bubbles about specific facts, giving demonstrations of ways mountains change, or making humorous asides. They provide continuity and keep the tone light while information is related to explain why fossils of sea animals are found atop mountains, the various layers in the earth, why volcanoes form, and the effects of erosion. The text and illustrations work together well in this sequential, well-organized book. Much credit goes to Hale's engaging watercolor illustrations done in cheery colors; they are simply drawn but add effective examples and diagrams. Used with Franklyn Branley's Volcanoes (HarperCollins, 1985), this fine addition to the science series would be of value to students interested in the geology and the changes of planet Earth.Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
Carolyn Phelan
Four children and a dog climbing a forest trail provide the framework for this discussion of mountains. Along the way, the knowledgeable characters explain the earth's structure and tectonic plates as well as the different types of mountains and how they are formed. Bright line-and-watercolor-wash pictures and diagrams illustrate the text. Apart from the problem of scale that crops up when showing four children and a tree sitting on a cross-section of the earth extending down for 95 miles, the illustrations succeed quite well in showing the structures, forces, and processes that mold mountains. An appealing addition to the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out series.

Product Details

Turtleback Books: A Division of Sanval
Publication date:
Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series: Level 2
Product dimensions:
7.66(w) x 10.22(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld is the award-winning author of more than seventy books for children.  She has written several books in the Let’s Read And Find Out Science series, including:  WHAT LIVES IN A SHELL?, an NSTA/CBC “Outstanding Science Trade Book” and winner of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s “Best Children’s Book” award; WHAT IS THE WORLD MADE OF?, a Children’s Book of the Month Club Main Selection; WHAT’S ALIVE?, also named an AAAS “Best Children’s Book”;  HOW MOUNTAINS ARE MADE, an NSTA/CBC “Outstanding Science Trade Book,” DINOSAUR TRACKS, "a great choice for even the most discriminating dinophiles" (School Library Journal); and DINOSAURS BIG AND SMALL, winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio “Best Book Award”

Kathleen was a children’s book editor for over ten years before becoming a full-time writer.  When she is not reading, researching, writing, or editing she loves to spend her free time exploring, doing fieldwork, and preparing and curating fossils for her local natural history museums.  She lives in Berkeley, CA.

James Graham Hale has illustrated several other books for children, including 'Round and Around by James Skofield; Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies by Ann Turner, a Reading Rainbow Featured Selection; and Barney Is Best by Nancy White Carlstrom. Mr. Hale lives in Ulster Park, New York.

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How Mountains Are Made 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The model of the Earth's interior illustrated and described in this book is wrong and leads to numerous other conceptual errors throughout the book. The book claims that there is a molten magma layer beneath the upper 95 mile thick lithosphere of the Earth. This is false. The layer of the Earth beneath the lithosphere is the asthenosphere, which is a solid that flows on very long time scales - it is not a liquid magma. In addition to other misleading and inaccurate statements throughout the text, the illustrations are sure to create misconceptions among children. For example, one illustration shows a volcano at Earth's surface that is directly fed by the misinterpreted magma layer deep beneath the Earth's lithosphere, and leads one to believe that when the entire 95-mile thick lithosphere cracks, liquid magma suddenly shoots up from below. A quick comparison between the model of the Earth presented in this book and that presented in modern geology textbooks, or Wikipedia for that matter, will hopefully convice existing owners of this book that it is deeply flawed.