Cosmos - - Spectrum - — BILL CONDIE

is a soil sci­en­tist based at Agribio, La­trobe Univer­sity’s Cen­tre for Agribio­science in Mel­bourne. She is also a par­ent and has com­bined what she has learned in both jobs to this en­gag­ing book that aims to in­tro­duce chil­dren with the life that lies be­neath the ground.

Beau­ti­fully il­lus­trated by Camille Heisler, the book is a jour­ney of dis­cov­ery through the eyes of a boy, James, who dis­cov­ers soil is more than dirt and mud pies. It is, James learns, home to myr­iad crea­tures and lay­ers of com­plex­ity.

Grover man­ages to cover the com­plex­ity of the sub­ject, tak­ing in all sorts of top­ics such as soil par­ti­cle size, the im­por­tance of mi­crobes and min­er­als to soil health and the roles com­post and worms play. The book is a per­fect in­tro­duc­tion to an of­ten over­looked field of sci­ence for chil­dren aged six to nine.

NON- FIC­TION Ex­plor­ing Soils: A Hid­den World Un­der­ground by SA­MAN­THA GROVER AND CAMILLE HEISLER CSIRO Pub­lish­ing (2017) RRP $24.95 Hard­cover

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