Sunday, April 8, 2012

Picture Book (Science): Inside Earthquakes (by Melissa Stewart)

While perusing the NEW non-fiction section in the library, I came across a new science series called Inside from Sterling Children’s Books.   I checked out Inside Earthquakes (by Melissa Stewart). 

Visually, this book is stunning!  A multitude of large, striking photographs are used along with diagrams and illustrations that accompany the text (by Cynthia Shaw).  Many of the photos illustrate the destruction of earthquakes that have occurred all around the world.  For instance, the aftermath of the quake in Japan (2011) depicts a large area of rubble contrasting with a sole bike rider moving through it.  A satellite photo shows the before and after of one area hit by a tsunami caused by an earthquake in the middle of the ocean.  Each picture effectively shows the devastating physical and human consequences.  In addition, photographs and illustrations portray the fault lines and quake patterns as well as the instruments and people who work to predict and understand these natural phenomena. 

A unique feature of this book is the 10 fold-out pages, making it perfect for hands-on learners who like to keep busy while reading.  These fold-outs also give a large-scale feeling to the subject while allowing for many related ideas to be side by side.  Pages fold out both horizontally and vertically. 

The text is well-written.  It is straight-forward and easy to understand.  There is a balance of providing basic information while also delving into some more complex ideas.   Much of the information is recent (2011), but it also offers glimpses of the past as far back as the ancient world.  Charts provide information on major quakes in key areas as well as the 10 deadliest ones in recorded history.  A fold-out overviews a comparison of Moment Magnitude and Modified Mercalli Scales and includes photographs of the type of destruction that comes with each phase. 

I found myself completely captivated in the personal writings of those who experienced earthquakes first hand along with the photographs and factual information.  I highly recommend Inside Earthquakes for ages 8 and up.  

This post is linked up with Science Sunday at Adventures of Mommydom and Nonfiction Monday hosted by Ana's Nonfiction Blog.


  1. Looks like a great book! My kids are too little but I will have to remember this for my students! Thanks so much for stopping by Reading Confetti!

  2. Looks interesting. I hope we never see one in real life!

  3. Oh wow, I'm sure the 10 fold-out pages would appeal to a lot of visual learners out there. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. This sounds very good, earthquakes are definitely something my kids are interested in. The Tohoku earthquake is a little too fresh for us but I see this as a resource in the future.


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