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A Grand Canyon Journey: Tracing Time in Stone (Children’s Press)

An excerpt:

Imagine yourself walking along the banks of a slow and muddy river. A dragonfly flits by, riding a warm breeze, and lands on the lacy leaf of a riverside fern. You leave the shade of a pine tree and walk through dried mud beds left behind by a previous flood. The sun is hot, much to the delight of some lizard-like reptiles who crawl across these cracked mudflats.

Fossilized plants, along with the beautifully preserved impression of an insect wing almost four inches long, suggest that the Hermit Shale was deposited in an environment like this. If we look at pieces of shale near the meeting place of the Hermit Shale and Coconino Sandstone, we may notice mud cracks. We might even find the imprint of a 280 million year old raindrop. For these features to have been preserved, it must have been dry, and getting dryer, when this mud hardened into stone. Eventually, this region became a desert, and the sand dunes that formed the Coconino above us covered the hardened mud of the Hermit Shale.

From a reader review (Amazon.com)

“My son is in first grade and an avid reader. He selected this book from his school library and reading two chapters a night, we finished it in less than a week. Even thought it looks complex, the text and the illustrations in the book are wonderful. It's very well written and easy to read. My son knows most of the words in the book, and there is a glossary in the back for specific terminology. It's very engaging and stimulating even for an adult. I love reading it to him!”