Here is a beautifully produced and illustrated reference volume that shows and explains everything from dinosaur bones to mineral formations, including precious and semiprecious stones. Amateur geologists and other nature lovers can use this book as a field guide. It also makes a fine classroom supplement for middle school and high school students. An introductory section uses cross-section diagrams and photos to show the Earth's composition and the effects of weathering and erosion on rock and mineral formations. The book also instructs students and nature lovers on locating specimens for their collections, then on methodically cataloguing them and exhibiting them in a presentation case or cabinet. Readers are instructed on the properties of crystals as well as on the formation and fashioning of metals, including gold, silver, and copper. They will also find information on the origins and composition of igneous and sedimentary rock, plus tips on how and where to find animal and shell fossils embedded in rock. The Essential Atlas of Fossils and Minerals is a fine teaching supplement and a book that deserves a place at home and in school libraries.