During a conversation I had in 1998 with KENT BROWN, founder/publisher of Boyds Mills Press, Kent asked what I’d like to write for BMP over the next five years. It didn’t take me long to decide. I started a rock and mineral collection when I was five years old living in Arizona — and still have it, in boxes in the basement — and my minor in undergraduate work was in geology, although I confess to sleeping through some of Dr. Ostrander’s classes (his voice was hypnotically monotone), I maintain my interest in geology. I told Kent I could do a series about how the Earth works: how mountains form and wear away over time, what caused the oceans, how rivers form, glaciers, volcanoes, earthquakes, caves. He thought it was a good idea so I set to work with my editor LARRY ROSLER. The artist CHERYL NATHAN agreed to do the illustrations and over the next five years we made seven books, collectively called EARTHWORKS. The first, CAVES, came out in 2001, the last one, GLACIERS, was published in 2006. The general age range for the series is grades 1-3.
Here’s how VOLCANOES begins.
Earth is never still. Every day somewhere it trembles and quivers. Every day somewhere volcanoes erupt From far off they look like beautiful fireworks. But up close, a volcano is no fun. What looks like sparks are fiery blobs of melted rocks called lava.