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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Earth Matters, edited by David Rothschild. DK Publishing, Tourmaline Editions. 2011. $16.99 ages 10 and up

"With grasslands spreading all over the world, it's hardly surprising that there is a great diversity of animals living in these ecosystems. There is as much activity below ground as above it. Grasslands are open spaces where there are few places to hide from predators..."

As is the case with all of DK's incredible nonfiction , the first thing you notice in this engrossing book is the use of bold, bright graphic artwork. There are diagrams, photographs, maps and timelines, all included to give readers a close-up and personal look at our world and why it 'matters'.

The language is most appropriate for the target audience, ensuring their attention and ability to process the information shared. In fact, they make it quite undemanding, even when covering such complex issues as the greenhouse effect. It works for me, too! While the tone is of needs scientific, it is not overwhelming with the crisis that faces us; rather it encourages readers to learn about this place we live in order to cultivate respect and awareness for sustainable living.

Each ecosystem on our planet is connected, making for a huge and wonderful place to live.  All who are interested in the way the world works, and our place in helping to sustain and protect it, will find much to ponder here. 'We are all it together' is a recurring theme and gives young readers a sense of hope and purpose for the future. Sometimes alarming, it is a book best shared with children and adults. That being said, children will pore over the pictures, the informative captions and find much to inspire their further learning. By sharing it with an adult, they may get help with questions they have as they arise.

Since it is a relevant subject at the moment here, this is what it says of floods:

"With rising sea levels and heavier rain, floods will be more common in many places. A warm current called El Nino, which brings heavy rain to South America every few years, seems to be happening more often and more strongly. Countries at extra risk of flooding need to bolster their defenses, and lay disaster-relief plans."

It is a message for all of us!

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