Little Kids First Big Book: Rocks, Minerals, and Shells

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There’s a lot more to rocks than just tossing them around. Ask author Moira Rose Donohue! She writes about all sorts of rocks, minerals and shells in her latest book, Little Kids First Big Book: Rocks, Minerals and Shells, a National Geographic Kids title.

This oversized beauty is bursting with “rocky goodness.” Children learn that rocks are absolutely everywhere, and they can be any size, shape and texture. They learn that all rocks are made of at least one mineral, but others contain many, many minerals. There are sections on how igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks form, how there are rocks that float, and how there are even rocks that come from outer space. Children learn that the Earth is a big rock that produces its own rocks via volcanoes and lava, and that these rocks can be used to build or to simply be ogled for their natural beauty.

Some of the more interesting sections talk about the granite used to build the Great Wall of China, the Tuff (yes, it’s a type of rock, but it’s not so tough) that was used to carve the human statues on Easter Island, the sandstone that was carved into caves and temples in the East, and even the coal rocks underground that were once the primary source of heat and light. If you are looking for a rock — any rock — this is the book for you!

Author Moira Rose Donohue uses a vocabulary that is great for early elementary and middle grade students. The book’s pace is just right, and the font is large and clear. The images are bright and colorful and there is a bonus section at the end with bold closeups of shells and Native American jewelry. There is a map that shows where some of the seashells discussed in the book can be found, and a spread that is dedicated to the tools geologists use when they are studying rocks. There is also a detailed glossary, a section with additional resources, a list of corresponding websites, and convenient parent tips to enhance your child’s experience.

Use this book in any elementary science classroom, or when going on a nature walk or a rock expedition.

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