Thursday, December 12, 2013


There are some subjects that I absolutely know kids, even the squirrelly-est bunch, on the squirrelly-est day (like after five days in a row of indoor recess) will love.Volcanoes are one of those subjects.

In my CYBILS stack, I've discovered a new picture book, VOLCANO RISING, that I am pretty sure kids are going to love.VOLCANO RISING is about volcanoes, but it's not about the destructive nature of volcanoes, like we usually think about.

Instead, author Elizabeth Rusch chose to focus on what she calls "creative" eruptions. Early in the book, she compares destructive and creative eruptions, saying that destructive eruptions are like when you shake a bottle of pop, and then open it, and it goes everywhere. Creative eruptions occur when you open the lid slowly and carefully, and the pop just bubbles up. Rusch teaches the reader that creative eruptions actually occur three times more often. Creative eruptions cause new mountains and islands, and repair scarred land.

The set up of this text is really interesting. Actually, there are two different, but related texts. The main one, located at the top of the page, is larger and much simpler. A secondary text gives more information, or tells a stand alone story about a specific volcano. Reading the book aloud might require several sessions, because I know kids would want to hear both texts.

Susan Swan's mixed-medial collage illustrations are absolutely perfect. They colors are vivid and each page has a sense of motion that captures the "feel" of a volcano. Back matter includes a volcano vocabulary and a bibliography.

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