DIRTMEISTER’S Nitty Gritty Planet Earth – Book Recommendation

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dirtTitle: DIRTMEISTERS, Nitty Gritty Planet Earth

Written by: Geologist Steve Tomecek

Illustrated by: Fred Harper

Published by: National Geographic Kids, 2015

Themes/Topics: geology, the Earth, rocks, earthquakes, fossils, evolution, experiments, scientists

Suitable for ages: 8-14



Dirtmeister is a nickname I picked up a long time ago because elf the type of work I do. You see, I’m a geologist, which means I spend a lot of my time digging in the dirt. Geologists are scientists that study the Earth and try to understand how it got here and how it changes. 


Geologist Steve Tomecek, aka The Dirtmeister, and his accomplice Digger (un unspecified ground welling critter, dig out all kinds of amazing information in this extensive book about geology. Topics include: the earth’s origins, minerals, plate tectonics, erosion, rocks, and biographies of well-known scientists. Each section starts with a fun little comic followed by several pages of description, graphics, and photographs discussing each topic. Humor abounds.

There are 128 pages packed with information, so I will just share a couple of my favorite factoids (I learned a ton!)

The natural chalk that people first used for drawing is a sedimentary rock made from tiny sea creatures called coccoliths.

Did you know there are over one millions earthquakes each year?

Why I like This Book:

  • Love the biographies of famous men and women geologists.
  • Love the Dirtmeister Nuggets – factoids in the sidebars.
  • Love the suggested experiments.
  • Love how colorful, comprehensive and entertaining this learning experience is and very accessible even for reluctant readers.
  • The layout style will appeal to lovers of graphic novels.


As they say, science is not a spectator sport, so have a go at the experiments in this book, But as the Dirtmeister advises, grab an adult to help so that you can blame them if anything  goes wrong.

Review copy received from publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.


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1 Response to DIRTMEISTER’S Nitty Gritty Planet Earth – Book Recommendation

  1. Patrcia Tilton says:

    I love geology and anything about the earth, including fossils, earthquakes and evolution. This sounds like an appealing book that is presented well for young readers. And, I like the Dirtmeister. Great choice!

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