Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)

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9780590054638: Rocks and Minerals (National Audubon Society First Field Guides)

Detailed full-color spreads help beginning naturalists observe and understand over 150 types of rocks and minerals.

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Review:

This book is part of a series of guides designed for adolescents interested in natural history and nature. The books are an excellent introduction to the Rocks and Minerals, Birds, Wildflowers, and Insects for children aged 8-18. Each guide is appropriately sized to fit in a field vest pocket. Readers who remember previous versions of these field guides from the 1970s that were dull and overly detailed will be pleasantly surprised. These books are arguably the most beautifully photographed and laid out field guides yet published for young people. Each book has an introductory section filled with interesting facts, descriptions of early naturalists, definitions of many of the terms used in the book, and a guide to using the field guide portion of the book. Best of all, the books also come equipped with laminated field "cheat sheet" cards, for quick identification while on the go, in any kind of weather. Each field guide features 50 common specimens with photos and brief descriptions of many more regionally occurring rocks and minerals. Brief discussions of threatened and endangered species are particularly valuable. Great first guides for children and adults with limited natural history background.

The Rocks and Minerals guide has excellent photographs and descriptions of many minerals and rock types. Most junior naturalists will never see mineral crystals in the field as shown in the photographs, but the guide gives a good understanding of where and how these minerals formed. --Merri Martz

From School Library Journal:

Grade 5 Up-These handsome books, illustrated with vibrant, full-color photographs, have a lot to offer, but calling them "first field guides" is somewhat misleading. They assume some previous knowledge and background vocabulary, and are not designed to give users quick reference to found items. Instead, they introduce their respective subjects and offer tips on equipment and observation. "How to look" sections give the basic science behind the fields of study. Then come the actual guides, which contain photographs of 50 common wildflowers or rocks and other similar species or formations. Boxed inserts detail the specific information. In Wildflowers, each entry lists what to look for, leaves, height, when the flower blooms, habitat, range, and cautions (when applicable). For Rocks, the boxed inserts give the mineral composition, texture, color, and environment. Each book concludes with an illustrated glossary; Wildflowers includes pictures of the 50 state flowers. Both titles have current lists for further reading that cover a wide range of reading levels and include Web sites. These are attractive and useful additions, but are not stand-alone field guides, per se.
Kathryn Kosiorek, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Brooklyn, OH
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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