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B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet Review by Courtney Larson

By Ruth Strother
Sleeping Bear Press
27500 Drake Road
Farmington Hills, MI 48331-3535

B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet is a 40-page picture book that goes through the alphabet and describes various earth science topics. For each letter, there is a four-line rhyme along with a sidebar with a few paragraphs of information about the topic. Each letter is also illustrated with full-color artwork. This format allows the book to be used with all ages of elementary students. There is a free, downloadable teachers' guide available on the Sleeping Bear Press website.

An example from the book is "I is for Igneous Rock." There is a four-line rhyme describing igneous rock, and the sidebar has five paragraphs that go into detail about the three main types of rock (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic). Other topics covered in the book include climate zones, earthquakes, hurricanes, the moon, fossils, oil, and tides, to name just a few.

This book is written from a worldview that assumes life on earth is several hundred million years old, and there are several references to this being a fact. It does not describe how the Earth came to be, other than saying it was formed about 4.5 billion years ago.

Overall, I was disappointed in B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet. I usually love picture books by Sleeping Bear Press, partly because the artwork is wonderful. The artwork in this title is lacking, though, and doesn't encourage me to pick up the book to read it. My middle son, who is 9 years old, loves all things science related and reads various science books in his free time. I really thought he would love this book, but he flipped through it once in three months. Therefore, I suggest that before purchasing this book, you check your local library for a copy of this book to see if it appeals to you.

Product review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2011