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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent illustrated guide to our planet, 30 Mar. 2009
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide (Hardcover)
Presented in a similar style to the same publisher's The Encyclopedia of Animals: A Complete Visual Guide that I reviewed some time ago, this book focuses on the planet itself rather than the life to be found on it, although it does not avoid life entirely. The book is divided into six sections, these being birth (the origin and a brief history and description of the universe and our solar system, together with a chapter on the emergence of life), fire (including the Earth`s core, volcanoes, thermal springs, earthquakes and tsunamis), land (see next paragraph), air (the atmosphere, wind, climate and weather), water (oceans, seas, rivers, waterfalls, wetlands, swamps, lakes and the marine environment but not glaciers, which are covered in a different section) and humans (looking at how people have used and sometimes abused the planet and what the future might bring).

The section on land is, understandably, the biggest. It covers rocks, minerals, soils, landforms and biomes. While the first three subsections describe the ingredients, the subsection on landforms describes the form they take and how they change. It is interesting to note that glaciers are included here rather than in the section on water. More predictably, the subsection on landforms explains weathering, erosion, rock falls, landslides, canyons, river deltas, mountains, valleys, plains, plateaux, coasts and caves. The subsection on biomes explains tundra, forests, deserts and other types of land environment.

The book is well illustrated with plenty of photographs and diagrams as well as many interesting facts and opinions. There was a time when a book of this type might have stuck to the facts alone (or at least to the best educated guess about the past based on known information), but the final section dealing with people inevitably strays beyond fact into opinion, especially when predicting the future. Regardless of whether you share these opinions or not, there is plenty of good factual information in this book to make it worth having on your bookshelf.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A most fabulous book, 1 Aug. 2009
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This review is from: The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide (Hardcover)
This is the most wonderful book about the earth and the natural world. The photographs and diagrams are beautiful and extraordinary. They explain both the structure of the earth and how it is evolving as a result of geomorphological processes, weather etc.

An amazing book for older children and adults alike, and a great reference book for geography students to see real photographs and brilliant diagrams of what they are learning in class.

I bought a copy for my children and then spent much time reading the book myself. I then gave copies to my children's school where the Head of Geography was equally stunned by the quality of the book and its contents.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Encyclopedia of Earth, 18 Jan. 2010
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide (Hardcover)
`The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide' is an attractive and comprehensive look at many aspects of the natural events and geological formations on earth. It covers a wide range of topics and the main chapters are Birth, Fire, Land, Air, Water and Humans and each of these chapters are further subdivided. This looks at earths place in the universe and solar system, how it was formed and what it is made of, the atmosphere and climate, oceans, sea and lakes and how humans have impacted upon the environment and way more besides. All of this is presented in a clear and attractive format with beautiful images and photography throughout. Due to it's size and hardcover this would make a wonderful coffee table book, but to be honest you could quite easily sit and read it from cover to cover (as long as you've got strong arms to hold it up, or don't mind placing it on your lap!). This is also great to dip into at odd moments and I never fail to be delighted by each little snippet I read or piece of information I pick up. This isn't quite up to the standard of the DK range of books, but it is a very very close second and if reference books of this type interest you then this is well worth considering.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide
The Encyclopedia of Earth: A Complete Visual Guide by John O'Byrne (Hardcover - 1 Sept. 2008)
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