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by Rochelle Baltzer

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Cindy K. Schofield
This is one in the "Natural Disasters" series of six books that answer many of the questions children have about these awesome natural events. Two page spreads with text and photographs describe volcanic eruptions and what causes them, review the geographic realm of volcanoes and how they change the landscape, and discuss how scientists study the phenomenon and how their understanding of volcanic activity can lead to warnings and evacuations. Three types of volcanoes—shield, composite, and cinder—are described with words and images. Throughout the book "breaking news" clips containing additional bits of information are inserted. The informational chapters are followed by a "case study" that examines the Mount Saint Helens eruption in Washington State in 1980. The book closes with a "News flash" of four additional facts, a glossary of ten "important words" and a suggestion to go the publisher's website to be directed to a list of online resources about volcanoes. An index provides topical access to the contents. The book provides a good overview of the topic for beginning readers though there are some distracting elements to its organization. There is an attempt to highlight the ten words in the glossary by using a red typeface when they appear in the text. However, the red is used sporadically so that in some instances the words are highlighted and in others they are not. The choice of words to define also seems arbitrary. The words "layer" and "predict" are defined and yet "chamber" and "caldera" are not. Pronunciation guides are provided for two of the words but not the other eight, and the phonetic rendition may be as difficult to read as the words themselves. Websites accessible through Abdopublishing.com include the FEMA website with activities for children, webpages derived from the book that allow children to build their own volcanoes and the National Geographic "forces of nature" page. Overall, this is a good introduction to the concept of volcanoes and children will be intrigued by the colorful photos and clear text describing these powerful natural occurrences. Reviewer: Cindy K. Schofield

Product Details

ABDO Publishing Company
Publication date:
Natural Disasters Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

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