Two intrepid librarians

Two intrepid librarians review the best nonfiction books for children

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Dirt by Ellen Lawrence


by Ellen Lawrence
FUNdamental Experiments Series
Bearport Publishing, 2013
ISBN: 9781617727375
Grades: K-4

Reviewed from a copy sent by the publisher.

Budding scientists will enjoy getting their hands dirty as they learn about soil in Dirt, part of the FUNdamental Experiments series. The book features seven experiments that are aimed at teaching readers about soil. Each experiment begins with a question. Are dead plants in soil? How do worms help plants? How do rocks become soil?

The directions to the experiments are written in a clear and logical manner. Each step is labeled with a number and readers will find the accompanying photographs helpful as they complete the experiments. Small human-like creatures (without clothes) pictured on each page will elicit a giggle from young readers. On some pages the figures view soil with a magnifying glass. Other pages show the people wearing hard hats and writing on clipboards. Parents and teacher will be pleased that the experiments call for common household objects such as coffee filters, plastic soda bottles, and flower pots.

The experiments are simple, but they require children use higher-level thinking skills. Throughout the book, children as asked to observe, think and reflect. One experiment asks readers to sort a cup of soil into three categories: non-living, living, and once-living. Another experiment has readers compare three types of soil and determine which one best holds water. Children are asked to write their observations and answer questions in notebooks.

Curious readers will enjoy reading two pages in the back of the book that offer explanations and answer the questions related to each experiment. Additional back matter includes a glossary, a quiz, and a list of related books. Other titles in the FUNdamental Experiments series include water, motion and color.

Click here to look inside the book.


  1. My kids spend hours playing in the dirt, so I must try to find this book. It looks great. Thanks for sharing it

  2. You are welcome. Playing in the dirt is very fun. I do it every spring.