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Children's Literature"Have you ever wondered how a rock is made or how it got to where it is today?" This short book with its brightly colored pages will walk you through the process, starting deep inside the core of the Earth. The text of the book is highlighted in bordered boxes and shapes and scattered across the simplified illustrations. Quotation bubbles are used frequently throughout the pages, bringing the rock to life and adding a touch of humor. The author gives good definitions explaining the differences between minerals, crystals, and rocks. She offers excellent descriptions of the three major layers of the earth: the core, the mantle, and the crust. Comparing the outer layer of the earth with the shell of an egg is commendable, as well as explaining the difference between magma and lava. Her word-pictures of the magma gushing out of volcano are very vivid. On the other hand, I was somewhat disappointed that the explanation of a volcano does not include the tremendous pressure inside the earth which causes the eruption. The rock cycle is otherwise fairly complete. The illustrations are simple and the font is large, so it would be assumed that this book is aimed at younger children. However, the topic is broad and some of the concepts too complicated for primary readers. Fourth graders would find this book appropriate, but middle school-aged students would likely think it was too easy. The book includes an experiment and a safe Internet site for more research. 2006, Picture Window Books, $ 14.99. Ages 8 to 12.