This awesome book is a collaboration between DK Books and the Royal Horticultural Society bringing together; the written work of soil scientist and worm enthusiast Dr Jackie Stroud; and Dr Marc Redmile-Gordon soil scientist and Climate Change expert; with the illustrations of Wenjia Tang.
Under Your Feet is an incredibly stylish book from its gorgeous production values throughout especially the contrast of matte and raised gloss finish on the cover, and is absolutely packed with information on how soil is more than just dirt, and how important it is to so many processes on Earth especially those fighting the front line battles against Climate Change.
The book is clearly divided into topics and with clear and sensible progression looking at the importance and role of soil for all life on earth, its composition and variety in different habitats, the life within it and the processes it is involved in from fossilisation to acting as carbon traps.
I particularly loved the section where soil is described as a cake mix, that is such a powerful analogy for young minds to take on board that soil is more than just dirt, and that there is a fine balance of ingredients, and how if these get out of balance the whole mixture changes which can be positive or negative or both in different ways. It also explains how different soils can be sandy, chalky, clay, loamy or boggy because of its composition!
I also liked the sections that explored the diversity of life in soil, and not just insects exploring microbes, fungi and mammals too and how they each play a role within their habitat for good, bad or both.
The sections on preserving the integrity and life of our soil for environmental reasons are extremely powerful explaining just how important it is to many processes including how the soil is crucial yet underestimated in many activities such as deforestation, we think its just the loss of trees that is terrible for the environment, when the carbon released from the soil has a huge impact too.
Overall, this is an excellent book that really has a place in every school library and deserves a place on many Childrens bookshelves especially those who have an interest in geology, mini beasts, climate change and other earth science topics.
Under your Feet -Dr Jackie Stroud, Dr Marc Redmile-Gordon & illustrated by Wenjia Tang is published by DK Books in collaboration with the RHS.