Friday, December 23, 2011

Hot Topic Planet Earth

The Review

Topics included are 'What is a Planet,' 'What is the Earth Made of,' 'How Many Oceans Are There,' 'How are Coastlines Shaped,' 'Have there always been mountains,' 'How Are Rivers Made,' 'Are All Deserts Hot and Sandy,' 'What Is A Glacier,' 'Where Are The Polar Regions,' 'What is the Earth's atmosphere,' 'Where Does Weather Happen,' 'What is climate,' 'What Are the Earth's Natural Resources,' 'Are We Damaging The Planet,' and an Index.

Each topic heading is depicted on a two page spread and includes a series of questions and answers as well as a number of brightly colored, well executed drawings. The pages depicting 'How are Coastlines Shaped' are particularly compelling with a single drawing illustrating a length of coastline and showing a protective wall, a length of beach with several groynes or breatkwaters, a cave, stacks and arrows to indicate the direction of waves. A discussion of sand color, cause for tides, recovering land from the sea, as well as how beaches are formed.

The cover says, 'Discover all the facts with this question and answer guide.' And, opening the over I can believe that while maybe not every fact is there, there are a whole bunch!! My resident critics, 4th grade, settled themselves to a session as reviewers. They take their job as critics seriously, listen carefully and view the illustrations with an eye toward approval or disapproval from a child's standpoint. If the work meets their approval we keep it for our classroom, if not, it is gone.

The colors of the brightly illustrated cover with cutaway of the earth's core, illustration of how a waterfall is formed and a mountain climber scaling a peak caught the children's attention immediately. We had just finished Science units regarding Glaciers and Weather, the children were delighted to find both topics are included on the pages of this book. As we came to those particular pages the children immediately requested, 'ask us the questions,' 'ask us the questions.' The questions presented regarding glaciers were ones they were able to answer, the material presented on the weather page followed that found in their 4th grade science books, and they were proud that they were able to name the types of clouds, explain how thunder and lighting occur, and discuss a weather front knowledgeably.

The children agree HOT TOPIC Planet Earth is a great addition to our class library, it is taken to a desk often when the children have a question regarding an aspect of our planet. And it is chosen for free time reading when we simply choose what it is we like to read. I like that the book includes so many topics found in the 4th grade Science text. I am pleased to see little groups of 2 or three with the book asking one another questions, finding answers and chattering about the illustrations.

HOT TOPIC Planet Earth is a well researched work filled with a myriad of facts and child intriguing illustrations. Discovering that the book is published by a British Publisher and is printed in China led the children to search our world map.

I received a hard cover copy for review, it is holding up well during classroom use.

I enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.

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