FICTION

3-D Earth

72p. diags. glossary. illus. index. maps. notes. photos. DK. 2012. RTE $17.99. ISBN 978-0-7566-9020-5.
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Gr 5–7—As with the author's 3-D Dinosaur (DK, 2011) and similarly titled volumes, a digital gimmick adds interest to an otherwise typical sweep over territory with high-reader appeal. Presented in somewhat greater depth of detail than in equivalent "Eyewitness" books, topics on the single-subject spreads introduce our planet's formation and features; geological processes from volcanoes to the rock and water cycles; minerals; fossils; weather and climate; and, in a final and particularly superficial section, "Life." Surrounding 6 to 10 revealing, often-dramatic photos or photorealistic digital images, small-type captions and blocks of expository text give each spread a dense look but do convey a generous load of basic facts. Downloading a finicky title-specific visual recognition program allows readers to enhance the drama on six spreads; holding the book open at just the right angle and distance within view of a webcam activates a herky-jerky pop-up volcano, tornado, or other animation (with sound effects) on the screen. Crude and fuzzy as they are, the 3-D effects will intrigue browsers, at least briefly, but they are more of a sidelight than a significant improvement on the likes of Elizabeth Roman's World of Wonders (Abrams, 2010) or Woodward's One Million Things: Planet Earth (DK, 2009).—John Peters, Children's Literature Consultant, New York City

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