Review Blog

Jan 29 2009

The volcano book by Dr Gill Jolly

cover image

black dog books, 2008. ISBN 978 174203027 2
(Ages 8+) What a delight to hold and read all that is the best in presentation, design, photographs and writing of an information book. Kids will love to read this book from cover to cover or dip in to gather information, or read a chapter or two before bed. Subtitled, Erupting near you, the book entices the reader with a cartoon volcano as the A in the title word, and the stunning picture on the front of a group of houses in the foreground with an erupting volcano behind. What child could resist opening the book? Inside the interest level is maintained with maps, photos, illustrations a glossary and short index. Each double page spread sets out one of the volcanic eruptions, such as Krakatoa, Vesuvius, Mount St Helens, and Stromboli, amongst others. Each has a side panel with a map and a drawing about the volcano. The information given is concise, but with enough detail to satisfy the middle and upper primary reader.
Each photograph used is an eye popping experience, giving the reader a bird's eye view of what molten lava is like, or a body from Pompeii, or a school bus buried by lava, or the destruction of Montserrat. The photos chosen will have students' imaginations running wild with excitement. The last two pages are devoted to several escape stories, and these round the book off nicely.
Again, black dog books has produced an information book that serves as an exemplar to other publishers.
Fran Knight

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