“'There's cold chicken inside it,' replied the Rat briefly; 'coldtonguecoldhamcoldbeefpickledgherkinssaladfrench

'O stop, stop,' cried the Mole in ecstacies: 'This is too much!'”
-- from
The Wind in the Willows

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Flip the Flaps Planet Earth • Lift-the-Flap Picture book

by Dr. Mike Goldsmith  illustrated by Nicki Palin
Available Now! Kingfisher Nonfiction picture book Ages 3-6
There’s discovery waiting under every flap!
Story:  Preschoolers sure have plenty of questions about this planet we call home. This book encourages young geologists to lift the flap (embedded in spine of each book) to discover why volcanoes explode, what causes earthquakes, the amazing variety of life on the planet, and more. Plus, readers can exercise observation skills by spotting-the-difference when they flip the flap.
Story behind the story: Dr. Mike Goldsmith studied the philosophy of time and space at Keele University, where he also obtained his PhD in astrophysics. He was formerly the head of Acoustics at the UK’s National Physical Laboratory and is now an author of non-fiction books for children. Nicki Palin is an accomplished illustrator of numerous books for Kingfisher, including Flip the Flaps Baby Animals.  In FLIP THE FLAPS PLANET EARTH, text and art work together to appeal not only to the child interested in science and those general question-asking kids, but also to visual learners and kids who learn best by interacting with the material. "This is an informative book that will engage readers in a tactile way as they explore the text. . . . Some of the illustrations are labeled, providing additional nontextual information for readers. This book would be a nice inclusion in a classroom or school library because it builds on the natural curiosity of young children. . . . While the information is very general, it's appropriate for younger children who have questions such as “What is it like deep underground?” or “What is at the bottom of the ocean?" -- National Science Teachers Association Recommends.  The Horn Book adds "the approach is visually appealing." 
FYI:  All the review copies for this title have been sent.  Please check back and see the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say...


Lindsay Horne said...

I received this book today and am absolutely taken with it! I love a picture book that can take complicated scientific information and make it easy to understand for kids.

The illustrations are beautiful, and the information is clear, concise, and straight-forward. I love the flap feature, which definitely makes the book in my opinion - scenes presenting the information before and after the questions are answered.

If I could offer one improvement, it would be to make all of the answers under the flaps line directly up with the question on the front of the flap. Some of them do, but I think that would make it easier for younger kids to match up. That being said, them not being lined up does not dim the experience that this book offers.

Love it! Picnic Basket Rating: 5/5

Anonymous said...

Flip the Flaps: Planet Earth, is a beautifully and brightly illustrated book that highlights different features of Earth including location of Earth, air, life on Earth, the oceans, inside Earth, volcanoes, and earthquakes. The information on each feature is basic and simply presented, making it easy for children to understand. The book also encourages children to ask questions by presenting questions and answers on the front and back of the flap.

I think this book is great for presenting scientific information to young children. One thing I would change about it, would be to present some of the more vague/doubtful "facts", such as information on the core of the earth, with doubtful language. Words like "might" and "maybe" and "speculate" would add to the spirit of scientific inquiry.

Overall, I give this book a Picnic Basket rating of 4 out of 5.

Sarah Oyerinde
English Teacher
mother of three preschoolers

Linda said...

This is a 5 out of 5. I am always on the lookout for good nonfiction books and this is a keeper. The information is "to the point", pictures and text features supplement each page. The questions are those that students would naturally ask, and the answer is immediate. However, the text on the side of the page sometimes becomes distracting.

Jane Wellman-Little said...

The book is visually appealing with a simple table of contents and index that will help children learn about these important access features. The flip flaps are clever and provide answers to questions that the targeted audience will most likely understand. In addition, the 'side bar' information provides an insight into related topics supported by diagrams and illustrations. I applaud the way vocabulary is explained within the text and loved the way some illustrations required predictions that could be confirmed or adjusted by the turning of a flap.
In my opinion there are some problematic issues. For example: the section on Planet Earth notes that if you flew to the moon, Earth would look like a blue and white disc. However, the illustration shows earth and the sun! Can you really dig into Earth and 'soon reach a thick layer of rock?" Our literal young readers will at least try! Last, readers of all ages need to know how the authors learned their information. Unfortunately, only a consultant is mentioned. Surely this book will need adult mediation and the grand conversation that arise will lead to more learning--GRAND! Picnic Basket rating: 3.5/5

Katharine said...

This is a gorgeous book! Young learners will be drawn to the beautiful illustrations. I also think they will love the question and answer format since they too love to ask questions. The information is simple and straight-forward, a great start for young minds.

The flap format is a little distracting with the 3 questions on one flap. Children would have to keep flipping back and forth and possibly get confused since the questions and answers don't exactly line up.

I would give it a 4 out of 5.

jgoetzke said...

Very nice picture book. The illustrations are clear and colorful. The flaps with questions on top and answers underneath make it fun for the children to explore. The book can easily be used in the study of the solar system as you discuss the features of planet Earth. The book's format makes discussion of Earth's features fun. My class enjoyed using the book for s simple game of trivia about Earth. However, the information on the sides of the page is very distracting and seems to break the continuity somewhat. Overall,I give it a thumbs up! 5/5

Julia Pitau said...

I absolutely loved this book! The illustrations were extremely eye-appealing. As for the story, it was simply written yet packed with valuable information. This book is a must have for elementary school libraries. Sure to please any reluctant reader.

Picnic Rating: 5

Denair Charter Academy
Denair, CA

Pat said...

Planet Earth is the perfect addition to any K-2 classroom. The information is age appropriate. The books gives just enough information without going over the students' heads. The format of using flaps engages the young learner. The illustrations are beautifully done. Planet Earth is definitely a 5.

Anonymous said...

Flip the Flaps Planet Earth book is age appropriate for young learners, illustrations are attention getters, and the flaps with questions and anwers are brilliant. 5/5!

l4man said...

This book is perfect for teaching a lesson on the Earth. The illustrations are nice. I enjoyed using this book in a lesson and asking the questions and then flipping the flap to reveal the answers. This book kept the students' attention through the end.

Lisa said...

I think this book presented factual information in a format that would be easily understandable for primary grade children. The pictures are visually appealing, too. Although I did feel there were too many pictures on the lift the flap pages. The sidebar information seemed out of place and most of it was a little too simplified. I would share this book with younger kids and use it to discuss questions we have about nonfiction topics. I think it would help students come up with their own questions about nonfiction topics they are writing about. I would give this book a 4 out of 5.

wordwarrior said...

I am quite impressed with "Flip the Flaps Planet Earth". I just received my copy and was immediately taken with the illustrations and concise information presented in an easy to digest format. I work in a public high school setting and all of the topics in the book comprise the environmental science course we offer. "Flip the Flaps Planet Earth" covers (at a basic level) what we take in depth. I realize this book is intended for preschool and early elementary level children, but due to the factual scientific content and the way it is presented, I feel it could also be used in science curriculum for functional level learners and special populations learners. Finding a format that gives accurate information, with realistic illustrations that will appeal to many levels in a basic form takes finesse. "Flip the Flaps Planet Earth" has accomplished the feat. I rate "Planet Earth" a 5 out of 5 and will recommend it to my school district's teachers!

loonyhiker said...

I would give this book 5 out of 5. This was a wonderful book for young children! The illustrations were excellent and very appealing. It was filled with wonderful factual information about the earth. This information was presented in a way that would excite youngsters and make them curious enough to want to learn more. I think the pages that flip to the answers was a great way to introduce and teach information to children. I would highly recommend this to be used in the classroom and even in a school library. New vocabulary and concepts can be taught using this book.

Pat Hensley
Special Ed Teacher
Greenville, SC

Anonymous said...

I liked the format of the book and felt that the flaps added an element of interaction with the text. The illustrations are appealing, not overly fussy and the basic questions are often the first ones brought up by emerging science learners. The front of the flap poses the questions while the back of the flap adds another dimension to the opening illustration.
Rating: 4/5

Roseberry, ID said...

As a 5th grade teacher, I can see myself using this book frequently. The book has high-interest level material while teaching important scientific facts.
There is a simple index students may use to practice finding page numbers with coordinating topics, as well as vocabulary words.
Students will enjoy the flap feature of reading the questions and finding the answers. It's a simple book with amazing organization. The book is accessible to most age groups and abilities.
My husband and I, both teachers, give this book a Picnic Basket 5/5.

Kimberli said...

I loved the information and the illustrations. I liked the flap style question and answer section on each page. The questions were interesting and informative. I didn't find the answers not matching up exactly with the questions to be an issue because they were numbered. Also, I was the one reading the book to the class, perhaps it may be more of a problem if the children were reading the book on their own. Overall, I loved this book!


Melanie T. said...

Overall I really liked this book because of the big, bright pictures and the great information. However, the flipping back and forth and the fact that the answers weren't lined up with the questions tended to distract me. I was also confused at times when some objects were labeled and others were not. You would expect that a book for this age group would have pictures that correspond very closely to the text; however, the first page says, "...you would see Earth in the sky, like a huge, bright disk..." The picture however, is of the huge sun next to the tiny earth. 3 stars.

SunshineFamily said...

Flip the Flaps, Planet Earth does have wonderful illustrations. I am also one who looks for non-fiction books geared towards younger readers and this seems like a good choice on the whole. However, I am concerned as the language is awkward. It also alternates between using scientific words like atmosphere and more common words like the earth's rotation as spinning. Overall, it falls short, I find the flow of the text difficult to read aloud and the two different fonts on the page jarring. Granted, the illustrations are lovely, the use of an easy Index and Table of Contents appreciated but I do not think I will include this in my class library.

Heather Hill said...

Planet Earth will be a classroom favorite for sure. Students will love looking at the pictures, lifting the flaps, and learning real information about the earth. This is a great supplement to any classroom study on the earth. I give this book a 5 out of 5.

Heather Hill, Reading Specialist
Enterprise Elementary
Woodbridge, VA