Under Water, Under Earth from Big Picture Press is an immersive, encyclopedic book exploring what’s under the surface.
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Under Water, Under Earth is a work of creative non-fiction by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski, inviting you to explore the fascinating world just beneath the surface. Brought to us by the same powerful creative duo who gave us Maps, this intricately illustrated book has clever duality — it can be read from both sides, depending on whether you want to investigate under the waves or beneath the soil.
One of my favorite things about Under Water, Under Earth is how immersive it is, and that the topics are very broad. This book isn’t just about earth science. It’s encyclopedic, and covers aspects of nature, history, engineering, science, and more. The visual language is striking. It is packed with facts and rich, colorful illustrations and is an excellent read both to dip into before bed or as part of a learning module for children. I have learned so much from this book, and it’s a great tool to help me fulfill my goal to learn something new every day.
Under Water topics:
- Lakes and the ocean
- Coral reefs
- Water pressure
- Diving and record breaking divers
- History of diving suits
- History of submarines
- Silent travelers: modern submarines
- Giants of the deep
- Oil and gas platforms
- Scientists underwater
- The Titanic
- Underwater chimneys
- Deep dwellers, Anglerfish and lantern fish
- The Mariana Trench
- Deepsea Challenger
Under Earth topics:
- Bugs and microorganisms
- Burrowing animals
- Edible roots and more
- Deep roots
- Underground utilities
- Natural gas
- Archaeological finds
- Paleontological finds
- Mines, Mined resources
- Tectonic plates
- How volcanoes form
- How geysers form
- Layers of the Earth
- The core
I also love the size of the book–it’s huge! This means it can be read easily and the illustrations are bold and clear. It’s horizontal layout makes it a great book to stretch out across laps.
Ideas for supplemental learning activities for Under Water, Under Earth
1. Read Under Water, Under Earth on location!
- Take a nature walk to a body of water if you can: a lake, or to the ocean.
- Take the book to a local science museum and use it as an accompanying teaching tool as you explore the exhibits (Perot Museum in Dallas OR Fort Worth Museum of Science and History)
- Visit a cave if you have one near by
- In North Texas, visit Dinosaur Valley State Park
2. Encourage your child to get dirty and dig!
- Pretend to be a burrowing animal
- Pretend to be an archaeologist:give them a paintbrush and uncover dinosaur bone toys
3. Garden together
Check out this great post from a fellow blogger at Living for the Sunshine: 5 Reasons You Should be Gardening with Your Kids. Plant root veggies and watch them grow! Harvesting is a great way to see Under Earth in action.
4. Experiments and crafts
- Tinker and experiment with 25 Different Ways to Build a Boat.
- Other great buoyancy experiments include this one using an orange.
- To teach about water pressure, check out this simple experiment for kids using household supplies.
- Make Playdoh models of the Earth’s layers… and cut in half!
- Hungry? Make layers of the earth pudding cups.
- Craft an underwater scene with pipe cleaner coral
5. Get an ant farm
I used to love ant farms as a kid! We bought Stella one when she was 3, and it was a great learning tool. Even as a young child, she could help feed the ants and watch them move and build.
6. Watch YouTube Videos
At our house, we use YouTube like a visual encyclopedia. Here’s three excellent videos to help illustrate ideas in Under Water, Under Earth.
7. Bath time play
Pretend to be a diver in the bath, play with fish and submarines and more with these fantastic toys.
- Read more about Under Water, Under Earth in this delightfully insightful interview with its creators over at Illustoria.
- Check out how this family over at Playing by the Book explored Under Water, Under Earth tangibly by making a model.