GSA picture book introduces children to plate tectonics

November 01, 2011

Boulder, CO, USA - The Geological Society of America announces its first children's book. Readers (ages 4-8) will be entertained as Sean, too sick to go to school, and William Trimbletoe, Sean's fisherman puppet come to life, learn about Earth. Trimbletoe's magic rhyme carries them off to see Earth from the "outside looking in." While learning about plate tectonics, Sean sees "how at the bottom of the ocean, new seafloor is created and pushes apart like a conveyor belt."

This is GSA's first foray into publishing children's books. The charming story and the detailed black-and-white pencil drawings proved impossible for GSA to resist and are sure to delight readers of all ages.

Author and illustrator Charles Ferguson Barker earned his bachelor's degree in geology at Arizona State University, where he first learned about plate tectonics from his professor Dr. Robert S. Dietz, who coined the phrase "seafloor spreading." After earning his master's degree in geology at Boston University, Barker decided to write and illustrate a book for children, introducing the basic concepts of plate tectonics. Barker teaches geology, presents lectures to elementary school students about geology, and works in the environmental consulting field.
Individual copies of this book may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online bookstore,, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service,

Book editors of educational or earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting April Leo,

From the Outside Looking In
Written and illustrated by Charles Ferguson Barker
OUTSIDE, 28 p., 9.75" × 7.75" paperback, $9.95
ISBN 978-0-8137-6033-9

Geological Society of America

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