B is for Blue Planet

An Earth Science Alphabet

How much of Earth's surface is covered by water? How do the northern lights get their colors? Planet Earth has been home to mankind for hundreds of thousands of years and while scientists have learned a lot about it, they're still unraveling many of its mysteries. B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet explains what we do know about our planet and what more we have to learn. Examine Earth's diverse ecosystems (deserts), discover geological wonders (karst caves), learn about weather phenomena (hurricanes), and much more. Ruth Strother has been in the publishing industry for more than twenty years and is the author of fifteen books for children. She also wrote Sleeping Bear's W is for Woof: A Dog Alphabet. Ruth lives in Southern California. Bob Marstall was a K-12 art teacher for many years, and today he is an award-winning children's book illustrator. He tours all over the country, lecturing in schools on the integration of art and science. Bob lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.95 $16.95
$28.95 $28.95
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level
Dewey 550
Lexile
ATOS Reading Level 6.1
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585364541), PDF (9781410308313), Hosted ebook (9781627534345)
Copyright 2011, 2014
Number of Pages 40
Dimensions 11 x 10
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • NSTA's Outstanding Science Trade Book for Students K-12 List, Short-listed, 2012
  • Indiana Science Tradebook Annual Reading List, Short-listed, 2012

A Review of "B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet" in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine

B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet is a 40-page picture book that goes through the alphabet and describes various earth science topics. For each letter, there is a four-line rhyme along with a sidebar with a few paragraphs of information about the topic. Each letter is also illustrated with full-color artwork. This format allows the book to be used with all ages of elementary students. There is a free, downloadable teachers’ guide available on the Sleeping Bear Press website.

An example from the book is “I is for Igneous Rock.” There is a four-line rhyme describing igneous rock, and the sidebar has five paragraphs that go into detail about the three main types of rock (igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic). Other topics covered in the book include climate zones, earthquakes, hurricanes, the moon, fossils, oil, and tides, to name just a few.

This book is written from a worldview that assumes life on earth is several hundred million years old, and there are several references to this being a fact. It does not describe how the Earth came to be, other than saying it was formed about 4.5 billion years ago.

Overall, I was disappointed in B Is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet. I usually love picture books by Sleeping Bear Press, partly because the artwork is wonderful. The artwork in this title is lacking, though, and doesn’t encourage me to pick up the book to read it. My middle son, who is 9 years old, loves all things science related and reads various science books in his free time. I really thought he would love this book, but he flipped through it once in three months. Therefore, I suggest that before purchasing this book, you check your local library for a copy of this book to see if it appeals to you.

B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet - Teaching Guide

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Author: Ruth Strother

Ruth Strother has been in the publishing industry for over twenty years. She was the first editor-in-chief of BowTie Press, the book division of BowTie, Inc., publisher of Dog Fancy magazine, among others. She is the author of fourteen books for children, including My Pet Dog, which was nominated for several prestigious book awards. Ruth was born in New York and spent her childhood in Minneapolis, pouring over any dog books she could find. She has worked and volunteered at zoos and humane societies, and was lucky enough to be able to combine her passion for animals with her career. She now lives in Southern California with her husband and daughter and their two labs.

Illustrator: Robert Marstall

Robert Marstall was a K–12 art teacher for many years, and today he is an award-winning children's book illustrator. He tours all over the country, lecturing in schools on the integration of art and science. Bob lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.