Seymour Simon has been called "the dean of the [children's science book] field" by the New York Times. He has written more than 300 books for young readers and has received the American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Lifetime Achievement Award for his lasting contribution to children's science literature, the Science Books & Films Key Award for Excellence in Science Books, the Empire State Award for excellence in literature for young people, and the Educational Paperback Association Jeremiah Ludington Award. He and his wife, Liz, live in Columbia County in Upstate New York. You can visit him online at www.seymoursimon.com, where students can post on the "Seymour Science Blog" and educators can download a free four-page teacher guide to accompany this book, putting it in context with Common Core objectives. Join the growing legion of @seymoursimon fans on Twitter!
Gr 3-5-- Excellent introductory titles. Simon presents clear, simplified explanations of natural phenomena with well-chosen full-color photographs that go beyond decoration, becoming integral parts of the texts. Spectacular photos of the deserts of the American southwest are used to show the various features from rippling sand, to wind-eroded rock formations, to the sparse vegetation characteristic of the area. There is a little information on how both plant and animal life have adapted to the harsh climate, and on the wonderful public lands such as Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, etc. The maps on the endpapers show the major deserts (except for Antarctica), but the rest of the world's desert areas, while occasionally mentioned in the discussion, are not represented in the photo selections. In the second book, Simon explores the magnitude of the oceans and their impact on the Earth's climate. He includes good black-and-white diagrams of how tides work and how waves form and transfer energy. The endpapers are maps of the world showing how and where the major currents flow. --Rosanne Cerny, Queens Borough Public Library, NY