Earth Primer

Get hands-on with ge­ol­ogy

Mac Format - - CONTENTS -

Kids th­ese days don’t know how good they’ve got it. Not long ago, while a science book might have been full of won­der, it was still a dusty tome. Earth Primer puts the forces of na­ture rather more overtly at your fin­ger­tips as you build vol­ca­noes, cre­ate sand dunes and rock­falls, raise rivers and freeze ev­ery­thing solid.

All the while, the book is sneak­ily teach­ing you stuff. If you’re a kid, you may not even no­tice the in­for­ma­tion soak­ing into your brain as Earth Primer urges you to cre­ate magma or melt a glacier you’ve just formed. But it’s clever like that, even ‘lock­ing’ sub­se­quent chap­ters un­til you’ve worked through all of what the cur­rent one wants you to see.

In a sense, Earth Primer’s heart feels a lit­tle like a game, and its play­ful na­ture should come as no sur­prise when you learn that au­thor Chaim Gin­gold is best known for the fan­tas­tic Spore Crea­ture Cre­ator.

The mas­ter­stroke is the Sand­box, where you get a lit­tle hunk of land and can do what­ever you want with it – but each god-like tool is only avail­able if you’ve al­ready learned about it. So if you want to bake the land, cause a flood or blow gales around your moun­tain­top, you’d best knuckle down for some read­ing and a touch of fin­ger gym­nas­tics.

Whether learn­ing or play­ing, this is a beau­ti­fully de­signed and en­gag­ing ed­u­ca­tional app for chil­dren of all ages – and we’ll hap­pily count the MacFor­mat team among them! Craig Gran­nell

£7.99 De­vel­oper Chaim Gin­gold, earth­

Works with iPad Ver­sion 1.01 One of the best – and most fun – books we’ve seen on iPad. Imag­i­na­tive, cre­ative and es­sen­tial.

Breezy but in­for­ma­tive

Fan­tas­tic in­ter­ac­tive pages

Clever struc­ture for kids

Su­perb Sand­box mode

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