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Earth is Big

Book Synopsis

Earth is big! (compared to a frog) Earth is small! (when it’s hiding in a galaxy) And that’s not all. Earth is wet and dry, hot and cold, round and jagged, fast and slow. You get the idea.

It depends how you look at it! Get to know our planet in a whole new way by comparing it to a huge variety of other incredible things – from tiny particles to giant star clusters. Did you know soap bubbles are some of the roundest objects in the universe? Or that we humans are totally outnumbered by chickens? Or that the driest desert on Earth isn’t scorching but freezing? Tour some of the most extreme places on the planet and beyond it, take a look at life forms from bacteria to elephants to redwood trees and explore what makes our planet the perfect home for us. You’ll never see Earth the same way again!

Our Review Panel says...

This large-format, colourful tome is packed to the rafters with facts, figures of interest. Each matt double-page spread is focused around one particular view of Earth – Earth is old, for example. The next double page provides a contrasting perspective – Earth is young or hot/dry or fast/slow and so on. This format allows for an unusual compare and contrast array of detail and fact and allows the reader to view the fascinating subject of the Earth around us from a multitude of different viewpoints.

Each page has simple, eye-catching infographic style illustrations that add to the interest whilst not detracting from the written information. Chunks of boxed up, thematically organised facts and explanations are arranged around the page in an easily navigated format. The writing addresses the reader in the second person ‘Every star that you see with your naked eye’ for example, thus allowing the reader to feel that the author is talking directly to them, which adds a friendly feel to some fairly weighty material.

Aimed at children, Earth is Big makes the mind-blowing scientific study of Earth tangible and relatable. It’s a clever trick to connect new and perhaps complex concepts to experiences and objects that are within children’s knowledge and understanding. Being able to relate and connect abstract to concrete really enhances the accessibility of the information. The vocabulary in Earth is Big does not and cannot shy away from being technical but new language is explained in a friendly style. I particularly liked the Earth is Round page which gave a clear explanation of what it means to be spherical and then provided examples of known and less known objects which are ‘spherical’, ‘almost spherical’ and ‘lumpy and bumpy’!

As a conclusion to the study of Earth, Steve Tomacek adds a poignant message to the reader to remind them that, despite being big, Earth is fragile and in need of our protection.

I think Earth Is Big would appeal to children and adults alike; I loved dipping in and out of it and felt enlightened by what I had discovered. Those children who are fascinated by Earth Science and those who come to the concept with fresh eyes will be informed and entertained. A must for classrooms and school libraries.

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