Monday, May 27, 2013

Review: Big Book of Earth & Sky

I'm late.  I was supposed to be reviewing this book -- Big Book of Earth & Sky -- last week, but I just had to get photos of it, and with all my travels (we are in Minneapolis, at my mother-in-law's house now!) it just didn't happen.

So first things first:  There is a Facebook party happening Tuesday, May 28, at 8:00 p.m. CDT.  Since I'm in Central Time at the moment, I'll leave it that way. <grin>  You could win cool prizes... like this fantastic book.

This is going to be my "a picture is worth 1000 words" review.  So be ready.

First off, this "book" is in the same format as one I reviewed a while back, Big Book of History.  You have a beautiful book cover, and inside -- well --

Here is Thomas with the insert part pulled out, and he is flipping through the sections, reading it as much like a book as you can.

Right here is the best place to say... the information in this 15-foot chart is great.  The illustrations really tell you a lot, so even just looking at the pictures is educational.

The text includes a lot of scientific terminology, but it isn't overwhelming. You can see that the text is in nice little "chunks" so that you don't get too much in one place, and the artwork really helps explain.

Anyway, we thought we'd try holding the chart up against one of Grandma's doors to show how big it is, only that doesn't really convey it as well as we hoped:

Connor is awfully close to 6' tall now, and even holding it up like this, you are seeing a tiny part of it.

What you can see, though, is that the chart goes from the exosphere (which ends 40,000 miles above the surface of the earth) and the rest of the atmosphere, down to the tallest mountains (those are at about Connor's chest in the picture), then it gets into cloud types, mountain zones, precipitation and the like.

Around Connor's knees, we learn about the water cycle and volcanoes.

Right around floor level, we cover caves and then go underwater.

That's only about half the chart.

We headed outside, and...

...laid it out in the driveway.

As you can see, it is basically the length of the van.

Did I mention this thing is huge?

That bottom half, starting with the panel closest to us, down at the bottom, talks about the core of the earth.  Above that is information on fossils and the geologic column.

There is a panel on the continents, and on Pangaea.

There is all kinds of stuff on rocks and crystals, and then on erosion.  Then we are back up to the caves.

Very cool stuff.

Here's the chart all nicely put back in the book:

There is also a Teacher's Guide, which is available as a free download, or you can purchase a physical copy, that helps organize the use of this book.  The first section is called "Intro to Speleology" and it includes all kinds of great vocabulary about caves and then ten great suggestions of "Cave Activities" that you can do.  There are similar sections for introducing oceanography, meteorology, and paleontology.

After that, there are sections with quizzes and handouts, and some other helpful information too.

But back to the book!  Here are a couple of close-ups of some of the panels:

You can see there is a fair amount of detail there!

One thing I especially love is that this is coming from a Creationist perspective, but it doesn't pound you over the head with that.

Great resource, and one I am thrilled to own.  It will get a lot of use here!

You can go see what other Moms of Master Books have to say about Big Book of Earth & Sky!

There is a Facebook party coming up on May 28 (Tuesday) at 8 pm CDT where you could win cool prizes including (I assume) this title, among other things, and discuss these books.  There is a yummy prize, and a gift certificate too.

Disclaimer:   I received this books for free from New Leaf Publishing Group as part of the Moms of Master Books program.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received complimentary products does not guarantee a favorable review.

No comments: