Elem. – How to Make a Mountain in Just 9 Simple Steps and Only 100 Million Years!

Huntington, Amy. How to Make a Mountain in Just 9 Simple Steps and Only 100 Million Years! Illustrated by Nancy Lemon. Chronicle Books, 2022. 978-1-452-17588-1. $18.99. 68 p. Grades K-3.

Mountains, of course, take millions of years to develop. If you can transcend time and need specific, but simple, directions on how to create a mountain, this is the book for you! The book is also a very easy to understand step-by-step explanation of how mountain ranges form, change and grow, and are populated by vegetation and animal life. All it really takes is a very big rock in the right place at the right time, with the right conditions… and a very long time. This amusing book (with quirky digital pencil and gouache illustrations by Nancy Lemon) makes a potentially boring topic fun and understandable. Giving excellent, age-appropriate explanations of tectonic shift, glacial impact, and changing weather patterns, this title offers a great perspective on the continued evolution of Earth.

THOUGHTS: This is a very informative book with a fun, whimsical tone. Great resource to support elementary geology, earth sciences, and environmental literacy/sustainability curriculum standards. 

551.8 Geology, Hydrology, Meteorology          Anne McKernan, Council Rock SD

Elem. – Looking at Layers (Series NF)

Looking at Layers. The Child’s World, 2020. $20.00 ea. 24 p. Grades 3-6. 

London, Martha. Looking Inside Earth. 978-1-503-83518-4.
Huddleston, Emma. Looking Inside the Human Body. 978-1-503-83519-1.
—. Looking Into Caves. 978-1-503-83522-1.
—. Looking Into Soil. 978-1-503-83520-7.
London, Martha. Looking Into the Atmosphere. 978-1-503-83516-0.
—. Looking Into the Grand Canyon. 978-1-503-83517-7.
—. Looking Into the Ocean. 978-1-503-83515-3.
Huddleton, Emma. Looking Into the Rain Forest. 978-1-503-83521-4.

An attractive nonfiction series exploring various layers of natural things, from the human body to soil to the rainforest. Straightforward text clearly explains concepts with a natural projection from outward layers in. Words from the glossary are highlighted in red which is a nice feature for readers. Sidebars focus on timely topics, such as “Creating Mountains” when text discusses tectonic plates in Looking Inside Earth. Visuals are both illustrations and photographs. Looking Inside the Human Body has fascinating illustrations of many body systems that will keep little readers absorbed. Back matter includes a helpful Fast Facts section that covers main points from the text, a glossary, “To Learn More” section, and index.

THOUGHTS: Nice collection additions if nonfiction is hot.

500s-600s          Lindsey Long, Lower Dauphin SD

Elem. – Geology Rocks! Set 2 (Series NF)

Hansen, Grace. Geology Rocks! (Set 2) Abdo, 2020. $20.95 ea. $125.70 set of 6. 24 p. Gr. K-2. 

Crystals. 978-1-532-18556-4.
Igneous Rocks. 978-1-532-18557-1.
Metamorphic Rocks. 978-1-532-18558-8.
Mineraloids. 978-1-532-18559-5.
Organic Gems. 978-1-532-18560-1.
Sedimentary Rocks. 978-1-532-18561-8.

Adbo has expanded their Geology Rocks! series for young readers with the addition of these six titles. Sure to be of interest to students with an interest in rocks and/or minerals, each title features simple text that explains the science behind geology. This reviewer had the opportunity to read the Igneous Rocks volume. The text broke down and described the steps in the igneous rock cycle in an easy to understand manner aimed at primary students. Numerous photos as well as charts accompanied the text in order to illustrate the formation and composition of the rocks. Back matter included a glossary, a chart that shows different types of igneous rocks and a link to Abdo’s extension activities and materials for the volume.

THOUGHTS: This series is an excellent choice for primary libraries looking to update or expand their geology-related collections. The titles offer a great way to introduce the topic of geology to young readers and the oversize books with high-quality photos will hold great curb appeal to browsers. As always, Abdo’s online supplemental content is a cut above what is provided by many publishers and could easily be incorporated into classroom lessons.

549-553 Minerals and Geology          Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg SD

Elem. – Old Rock (Is Not Boring)

Pilutti, Deb. Old Rock (Is Not Boring). G.B. Putnam’s Sons, 2020. 978-0-525-51818-1. 32 p. $17.99. Grades K-4. 

Old Rock happily sat at the edge of the forest “for as long as anyone could remember. And even before that” until one day friends begin to brag about their many adventures. Hummingbird’s stories of flight remind Old Rock about what it was like to sit in darkness before erupting from a volcano. Spotted Beetle’s tales of scaling trees to watch animals and ships remind Old Rock of times when dinosaurs roamed before giant glaciers covered the land. Tall Pine’s dancing in the wind inspires rock to recant what it was like to tumble down a ridge and land in a vast grassland full of mastodon. Old Rock’s friends are finally convinced that staying in one place for as long as anyone can remember might not be that bad when Old Rock shares what it has been like to watch seedlings grow into tall pine forests while listening to stories of adventure and travel from good friends. Anthropomorphic flora, fauna, and rock illustrations paired with occasional conversation bubbles add whimsy to the story. The final page consists of an illustrated timeline spanning from 18 million years ago to present day providing additional facts about Old Rock’s journey.

THOUGHTS: Connect this book to a science lesson about the rock cycle, geology, earth history, or just read it aloud for fun. I think students will enjoy the humor of this book while also appreciating the geological facts rooted in Old Rock’s stories. SEL connections can also be made with Old Rock’s contentedness to be still and live in the present.

Picture Book          Jackie Fulton, Mt. Lebanon SD

Series NF for Elementary & MS – Investigating Natural Disasters

Elkins, Elizabeth.  Investigating Natural Disasters. Capstone, 2017. $20.99ea. $83.96 set of 4. 32p. Gr. 3-7.

Investigating Earthquakes. 978-1-51574-038-4.

Investigating Floods. 978-1-51574-040-7.

Investigating Hurricanes. 978-1-51574-039-1.

Investigating Tornadoes. 978-1-51574-037-7.

The Investigating Natural Disasters series aims to inform readers about four of the most common natural disasters: earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. The forces that form each type of disaster and explained and scientific terminology is defined within callout boxes present throughout the chapters. The role and scientists, meteorologists and other forecasters in predicting events is also highlighted. Well-known examples of each type of disaster are included within the text. Disaster safety tips, for before, during, and after each each event are presented and discussed. THOUGHTS: This engaging series offers interested readers a good introduction to the science behind the natural disasters most likely to strike in the United States. A solid choice for student researchers and casual readers alike.

Geology; Meteorology      Elizabeth Henry, Lampeter-Strasburg School District

Animal and Science Books for Elementary Students


Arlon, Penelope. Animal Faces. New York: Scholastic, 2015. 978-0-545-79121-2. 32p. $7.99. Gr. K-3.

This book explores the faces of many different wild animals.  Some of the areas explored in this text include senses, mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs and amphibians, and fish.  An index, table of contents, and reference to a digital companion book are included. Young readers will really enjoy the bright illustrations and topics covered.  Animal books are always a hit, especially with the youngest students.  The text is presented in small blurbs rather than large paragraphs which makes reading this book especially easy for K-3 level.  THOUGHTS: Hand this book to a K-3 student who loves animals and strike gold!

590 Animals     Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School



Arlon, Penelope. Really? Ocean. New York: Scholastic, 2015. 978-0-545-80650-3. 64p. $8.99. Gr. 2-5.

A  wonderful celebration of the many animals that live in the ocean, the pages of this book include brightly colored photographs and informational text about the coral reef, sharks, jellyfish, whales, and more.  An index, table of contents, and glossary are included.  Ocean creatures are not only a topic covered in many curriculums, but also a highly popular topic with K-5 students.  This book is sure to keep readers happy.  Since each page contains many blurbs and captions, this book is appropriate for reluctant readers.  THOUGHTS: This book is a wonderful addition to any elementary or children’s library in need of books about animals that live in the ocean.

591 Ocean    Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School




Lawrence, Ellen. How Do Water and Wind Change Rock: A Look at Sedimentary Rock.  Bearport Publishing, 2015. 978-1-62724-299-8. 24p.  $18.00. Gr. K-5.

This book gives readers a step-by-step explanation of how sedimentary rock forms.  Each page is filled with brightly colored photographs and small informational paragraphs.  The text includes many pages with short captions and blurbs to keep the reader interested in the topic.  Also included in this book is a sedimentary rocks chart, “Important Science Words” section, an index, bibliography, and “Learn More Online” section.  This is a topic that many students study in science and is also of interest to many young patrons.  Students will enjoy the brightly colored photographs and find this text easy to read.  THOUGHTS: This book is highly recommended for any school or children’s library in need of geology books for younger readers.

552.5 Geology   Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School



Hansen, Grace. Geology Rocks!  Mankato, MN: ABDO, 2016. 24p. $19.95 ea. Gr. K-3.

Ores. 978-1-62970-908-6.

Soils.  978-1-62970-910-9.

This series for young readers contains information about geology topics and is perfect for the youngest readers and budding scientists.  Each text Includes brightly colored photographs and small blurbs of text on each page.  Difficult words are boldfaced and can be found in the glossary to help students with their specific meanings.  An index, table of contents, and code to access Abdokids.com with related games and videos is included.  THOUGHTS:  The topics covered in this series are important to include in any children’s or elementary library.  Both teachers and students will request this series.  

553 Geology   Anastasia Hanneken, School Lane Charter School