By Catherine Weyerhaeuser Morley
Mountain Press, $12.00, 32 pages
It is natural for children to ask questions. When those questions deal with science and nature, however, uninformed parents and educators can find it difficult to provide answers. From Mountain Press, known for its series of Roadside Geologies profiling many states, Catherine Morley’s Where Do Mountains Come From, Momma? provides a wonderful resource for an introduction to earth sciences. A young girl asks her mother questions about mountains, and the answers unfold. In just 32 pages, readers learn about plate tectonics, continental drift, fossils, mountain building by several mechanisms, volcanoes, erosion and vast amounts of geologic time. The text is perfectly minimal, while the detailed and beautiful full page illustrations provide simple visual answers. More important, one can learn about asking questions and sharing the search for knowledge with loved ones. Where Do Mountains Come From, Momma? also seems to stress two aspects of science education that have been given more attention recently: that parents should be engaged in learning about science with their children, and that young girls interested in science should be supported rather than discouraged. In both its ability to communicate concepts of earth science and encourage kids and adults alike to “wonder” about nature, Morley’s book succeeds.
Reviewed by Michael Barton