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Basher: Rocks & Minerals: A Gem of a Book Paperback – September 29, 2009
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From School Library Journal
Grade 3–8—This unique book gives each rock and mineral personality and pizzazz through the use of a conversational, first-person text. (Quartzite explains, "Nothing wears me down—I'm the definition of true grit!") Three interesting facts, a short description, and a list of basic facts (chemical formula, hardness, etc.) are provided about each one. Full-color cartoons of the rocks and minerals include faces and other human characteristics that enhance the personalities. Navigation is facilitated with sections being designated by a color and symbol. Readers will enjoy and learn from this fact-filled, accessible book.—Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA END
“[T]he entries make lighthearted but unexpectedly meaty reading. Confirmed rock hounds will find this latest of Basher's forays into science a refreshing change of approach from more conventional treatments.” ―Booklist
“This unique book gives each rock and mineral personality and pizzazz through the use of a conversational, first-person text. . . . Readers will enjoy and learn from this fact-filled, accessible book.” ―School Library Journal
Top customer reviews
First, these books are GREAT in that they present some of the terminology/jargon of the subject matter in a way that seems to interest small children! (in my experience, ages 4-7 seems about right) This is actually a BIG DEAL, as the books reliably deal in wonderfully important subjects. For this, I highly recommend them and thank the authors and publishers for their effort!
However... there are two ways in which I find these books to be terribly disappointing:
1) The attempts to make each entry clever and fun raise the effective reading level high above the target audience. Clever puns and delightfully descriptive diatribes do not go over so well with young children just beginning to read. My six year old is completely ready for the subject matter, but struggles to the point of giving up (!!) trying to manage the prose.
2) IMHO, the attempts at fun language and clever characterizations often work to obscure the simplicity of the subject matter at hand. As a scientist who understands many of the concepts under discussion, I often find myself marveling at how these descriptions express an opaque and incomprehensible version of what are fundamentally simple ideas.
Basher Guys... I LOVE what you are trying to do. IMHO, if you can find a way to simplify the prose, and not let "characterizations" get in the way of "simple explanations", then you will be changing the WORLD!!
So despite my reservations... BUY THESE BOOKS!... I think that as long as they use it to try to do better, these guys have TOTALLY earned our income!!
This whole series of books is great! We've actually used several of them to supplement the curriculum in our home school.
*I paid full price for this item. This is my honest, unbiased opinion.
The illustrations are great, Pyrite "Fool's Gold" wears a little jester hat, so it's become a game to figure out what the names might be of each character before we look. The information is precise while communicating facts in a fun way, both my Kindergartener and my Second Grader can comprehend what's they're reading but the info covers many things not taught until later in elementary school.
Can't wait to add to our collection!