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April 2012 / Bronx/​Riverdale Family / Brooklyn Family / Long Island Family / Manhattan Family / Queens Family / Staten Island Family

All about our earth

Someday, your children are going to inherit the earth. And there is so much to learn before it becomes theirs. “B is for Blue Planet,” by Ruth Strother, is just the tool to learn all about our Earth.

“B is for Blue Planet” teaches children all about the planet by taking them through the alphabet to introduce them to new words, such as A, for amber, the gooey material that oozed from trees when dinosaurs walked the earth, and trapped bugs, flowers, and leaves, and then hardened, rock-like. And while your child is learning about old, hard rocks, she’ll also learn about I, for igneous rock, which was on the earth before the dinosaurs that roamed the earth during J, the Jurassic period.

Of course, B is for blue planet, another name for the earth, because much of it is covered with water and looks blue from space. In all that water are coral reefs, which start with the letter C. E stands for earthquakes, and V is for volcano.

If you’ve got a young reader in your house, you probably have at least one shelf that’s filled with books that have been outgrown. The nice thing about this book is that it grows with your child: read it with a 4 year old, then keep it for the 12 year old she’ll be someday, because “B is for Blue Planet” really is two books in one.

Strother offers a quick, easy-to-understand poem for younger children, each accompanied by a colorful illustration from artist Bob Marstall. You’ll notice, though, that on the outer half of each letter-page are longer, more thorough, more scientific explanations meant for older kids — or for yourself, if you need help answering the questions of a curious child.

For preschoolers to middleschoolers, “B is for Blue Planet” will prove that Earth Day — April 22 — isn’t the only time to be green. For them, this book is a good lesson and a great gift.

“B is for Blue Planet,” by Ruth Strother [40 pages, Sleeping Bear Press, 2011, $16.95] is recommended for children in preschool through middleschool.

Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill with two dogs and 12,000 books.

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