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Paulette Bourgeois and Valerie Wyatt. Illustrated by Craig Terlson.
Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press, 1990.
80pp., paper, $9.95.
ISBN 0-921103-89-1. CIP.

Subject Headings:
Soils-Juvenile literature.
Soils-Problems, exercises, etc.-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11

Reviewed by Eve Williams.

Volume 18 Number 6
1990 November

The good earth is something most of us leave behind in childhood, but this book encourages us to go back to our roots and dig deep in the interesting stuff beneath our feet. The Amazing Dirt Book is the newest in Kids Can Press' Amazing series, and like its predecessors it covers a wonderful range of topics such as science, history, archaeology, chemistry, recipes, activities and fun. Paulette Bourgeois does her usual fine job of unearthing mounds of neat facts on dirt.

Topics covered in the book in five chapters are dirt (dirt eaters unlimited), soap (where there's life there's soap- or how soap and detergents really work), archaeology, burial practices, fossils, geology, adobe, tunnelling, brick making, and gardening. As usual, the material is both amusing and thought provoking, and an index, quizzes, and glossary are provided for good measure. Perhaps the recipes are not as attractive as in previous Amazing books (it is hard to salivate over clay hot dogs and mud pie).

It seems worth noting that this volume is not as attractive as its peers. The facile sketches by Craig Terlson are messy-perhaps in keeping with the topic-but I prefer the Linda Hendry sketches in the other Amazing books. Here the pictures look like hastily scribbled graffiti. The book does not have that pick me up and look appeal of its sister books; however, I think the book would be useful for browsers, classroom activity centres and children's libraries.


Eve Williams, MacNaughton High School, Moncton, NB.
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