Ellen Prager, Author, Nancy Woodman, Illustrator National Geographic Society $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7922-7104-8
Woodman's (Sea-Fari Deep) digital collages of pastels on sandpaper, watercolors and photos provide snappy graphics for this limited if age-appropriate look at sand. Prager, a geologist who specializes in marine science research and education, describes the formation and composition of sands of various colors and explains how sand moves from one location to another. Accompanied by explanatory visuals, some statements may strike readers as arbitrary (""Sand is made up of grains smaller than gravel but bigger than mud in size""), obvious (""The color of sand comes from the color of its grains"") or repetitious. The visuals play to kids, with a typeface that mimics hand lettering and a friendly characterization of the ""sand sleuth,"" a cartoon sandpiper dressed in a Sherlock Holmes-style cap and cape. While his microscope gives readers a close-up look at various kinds and colors of sand, the peripatetic guide paddles an inflatable boat, rides the waves on a surfboard, traverses the desert by camel and climbs an iceberg. The informal approach should broaden this volume's audience from children with an interest in science to those with simply a healthy curiosity. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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