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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2002
Format: Paperback
Its a good book for beginners on this field, you wont find all of the rocks out there, but youll learn quickly about the major differences and characteristics of some rocks...
It is very colorful, pictures are awesome, and I liked that the book tells you about rock and mineral uses, as well as in the ancient times as in today.
I recommend it as an introductory book on the matter, then you should move to a more detailed book. I gave it 5 stars Considering that it is a pocket book.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2009
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
When they call this a "pocket" book they really mean it. As usual, DK has packed a lot of information and images into a single volume. But to make it so small, there are (in my opinion) too many compromises.

I suspect that DK has a book with very similar content in a bigger size, and that the content was simply rearranged and reduced in size to make it fit the Pocket concept. In other words, it's as if they took a regular book and printed it in a "zoomed" version 1/4 the size or less.

As a result, the text is small. As in most DK books, there's a variety of typefaces and sizes. Well, in this one, the smallest type sizes are really tiny! You can read them, but it sure takes some effort. I found it uncomfortable.

Naturally, all the photographs have to be smaller, too. And because there's not enough space on a single page to fit any reasonable-size picture, many photographs of rocks and minerals -- although usually colorful and detailed -- are split across two pages.

Splitting photos across the binding is a compromise one can accept in a budget-priced book. But in this case it's really problematic, because this tiny book has a very tight binding. To get any view of such pictures, you're tempted to squash the pages flat on either side. Do that enough, and this inexpensive binding won't hold up. Meanwhile, you're still dealing with the distraction of a two-part image and the physical effort to hold the pages open.

The typical DK book is designed as much for browsing as for straight-through reading. But at this size, that design approach breaks down. Two pages of text and images fit into a space far smaller than a single page in a typical book. In a larger book, your eye scans across a page, but at this size, the whole thing meets your eye at once.

In short, it took me only a minute or two to wish I had spent a bit more and bought a full-size book, whether from DK or whomever. There are quite a few on Amazon that looked promising, but I bought this instead because of the low promotional pricing. Lesson learned.

(Here are a few available from Amazon that give an idea of what I mean: Rock & Mineral (DK Eyewitness Books), or Smithsonian Handbooks: Rocks & Minerals (Smithsonian Handbooks), or Rocks and Minerals (Eye Wonder)). There are many more, I'm sure.)

I honestly don't know what to make of all the reviewers who make no mention of these issues. It's true that the content is pretty good, but it's not an exhaustive summary of the topic, or necessarily the best of its type.

The fact that the book is small does not (in my view) mean that it's better for kids. On the contrary, it seems to me that it is stiffer and harder to manipulate than a bigger book. And since when do kids' books have *smaller* typefaces than usual?

I think it attracts a youngster's eye because it presents a variety of colors and textures. But I would not recommend it either as a kid's first introduction to this topic, or as a reference book for children who are looking for more detailed information. Both purposes are served better by other books.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is so colorful and easy to read that all of my children, even my son who doesn't like to read, picked up this book on their own and read it before I did. The content was well presented and is helpful for any study of rocks and minerals. There is informatian there that I didn't even know.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is easy to ready and understand. The photos are clear and the content is great. My son takes this book everyplace and shares it with friends who also enjoy it. This book doesn't dissapoint.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
My son is six years old and this book captivated him for a good four nights, a few pages a night, for his bedtime story. It is very visually appealing with vividly colored pictures and thick glossy pages. It is written very well, easy for a young child to understand, yet filled with information about rocks and minerals. I have to read it to my child as he's not an independent reader yet, but an independent reader would also really enjoy this book. It is made for children but not at all "babyish." A great way to either learn about rocks and minerals, or introduce a child to non fiction.

I'm very impressed with this book and will be purchasing more DK Eye Wonder titles. I've looked at their other titles and they all look like wonderful books.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I knew nothing about rocks before I bought it for my 5 year old rock fanatic... now we both know a little more... It is well written and the pictures are gorgeous.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 29, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Purchased as a gift for my granddaughter who loves rocks and shells. I prefer this to buying "princess" products, as it encourages her interest in science.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 23, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
But seriously, I really loved this book from the moment I opened it. Was preparing to wrap it, having just received it from Amazon, and noticed that the back had a Turn-and-Learn wheel with rock facts built in to the sturdy back cover. Nice! Then I saw that it had really well-planned graphic design, places for kids to check off their progress through the book, great activities (Grow Your Own Stalactite!) and stickers! Little Quizzes with the answers. Love it.

I taught for 30 years, and as a former teacher, I'm picky about books for anyone at any age. Layout matters as much as content, and the authors and designers of this series did a great job. I'm going to look for more. When you want to get something that kids will want to USE, not just read, especially the day before you celebrate Christmas with them (we do Christmas Eve, for all you calendar-counters), this is a score.

I'm giving my grand-nephew a cut geode, a fossil fish, and some obsidian to go with the book, and some locations in his state where he can find more such minerals, etc.

Great price. Nice going, DK.com
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2002
Format: Misc. Supplies
...The samples, poster, booklet and other elements work well together to provide an introduction to rocks and minerals. This kit provides good educational information with the additional bonus of hands-on learning. A year later it is still a favorite and her interest in the subject has continued to grow.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I promised my grandson books about rocks for his birthday. I was very suprised about this book for the price. It is very, very, good book for children. He is 7 years old and is very happy.
A very happy Grandma!
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