Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Earth Matters

Earth Matters

From the editors and writers at DK
For ages 10 and up
DK, 2008   ISBN: 978-0756634353

One hundred years ago, we did not fully appreciate how much of an impact we humans were having on our planet. Thankfully, we have learned a lot since then. Many of us acknowledge that “we have the fate of the whole planet in our hands,” and we therefore need to make every effort to create “a sustainable future” for all the living things that populate Earth. How is this to be done? What can we do to protect our planet?

One of the things we can all do is to learn more about this beautiful and extraordinary planet that we depend on. We can educate ourselves, and in so doing we will better understand and appreciate the interactions that exist between plants, animals, water, air, and earth. This book presents readers with the means to learn about our planet, the various ecosystems that are found around the world, and the steps that we need to take to protect our precious inheritance.

The book is divided into ten main sections. The introduction looks at the story of our planet and how it has changed over time. Here readers will find out about the carbon cycle, global warming, the search for forms of energy, the water cycle, what it means to be sustainable, and more.

This introduction is followed by chapters about the major ecosystems that are found on Earth. We can read and learn about polar regions, temperate forests, deserts, grasslands, tropical forests, mountains, freshwater systems, and oceans. Each section contains annotated maps, diagrams, and photos. There is general information about each ecosystem, information about the plants and animals that are found there, and details about man’s interaction with that ecosystem.

The last chapter in this excellent title looks at the ways in which we can set about “helping our Earth.” Though the problems may seem too enormous and overwhelming, “one person can make all the difference.” With every light that is turned off, every bottle that is recycled, every beach that is cleaned up, every bike that is ridden, and every piece of clothing that is reused, we all make a difference.

Packed with information that is complimented by photos, diagrams, maps, tables, and illustrations, this is a book that everyone should read. It is an invaluable tool that will help readers to understand why they need to make an effort to live a more sustainable life.