From School Library Journal
Gr 3-4–Rusch offers a twin-sided look at the power of volcanoes–their capability for destruction, and, surprisingly, of creation. Her informative text continues the split in personality with, on one side, an easy sentence or two dramatically describing eruptions with a heavily accented “POW!” or “SPURT.” On the other is a longer, more complex paragraph giving further data for older readers or for teachers and homeschooling parents. Included are such topics as the Yellowstone supervolcano, the emergence of undersea volcanoes, and the creation of Paricutín in a Mexican cornfield. All of this information is placed on a backdrop of Swan's dramatic artwork, a combination of hand-painted papers, digital paintings, and Photoshop scans that include a puffin taking off from the sea near Surtsey and Kilauea's pahoehoe lava flowing violently into the cold Pacific waters. Pair this book with Lisa Westberg Peters's Volcano Wakes Up! (Holt, 2010) for a lava-full celebration of vulcanology.–Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In Rusch’s third book on volcanoes, she is joined by Swan, and the two have created an eye-popping riot of action, sound, color, and information to convey the energy and impact of volcanoes. Portions of the text are written for younger readers, while the more detailed, thorough explanatory passages (in a slightly smaller font) are approachable for older readers or through adult assistance. Rusch describes both “creative” and “destructive” volcanoes, but spends more time explaining the creative ones and their environments. Swan’s provocative found-objects-meet-digital-painting art is a wild, invigorating explosion (so to speak) of lines and colors. But it’s not overwhelming; the labels of the lava, magma, and varied strata of volcanoes expand the understanding. A smart and visceral introduction to the topic—and the pronunciation help within the text is nice, too. Grades 1-3. --J. B. Petty