Earth & Environment

Exploring the Earth - exciting journeys  through Earth Science for children and adults

A  Cambridge graduate in Earth Science, John Farndon writes exciting books about the amazing planet we live on, its everchanging atmosphere and the myriad rocks that make up its surface. They range from the award winning How the Earth works that features fun hands-onactivities to engage children in the workings of the planet to comprehensive encyclopedias such as the Practical Encyclopedia of Rocks and Minerals and the visually sumptuous DK ‘Earth’ to which he was a major contributor. 

How the Earth Works by John Farndon

How the Earth Works by John Farndon

Dorling Kindersley (May 1992)

Here is a stimulating introduction for the whole family to the secrets of planet Earth. Packed with hundreds of experiments that let you discover the way the Earth works. Create your own "home laboratory." For ages 8-14

Shortlisted for Rhone-Poulenc Science Book Junior Prize 1993

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Widely used as a sourcebook for activities in schools


"How the Earth Works shares the clear layout and bright ideas that have become the hallmark of its publisher Dorling Kindersley... With a few plastic trays, some sheets of foam rubber, a handful of sand and a bucket of water, you can discover how mountains rise up, a river carves out a meandering course and how to make sedimentary rock. It is an exciting book that will encourage experiments and observation. It would be my choice for the [Rhone-Poulenc Science Book] Junior Prize"

Maggie Mc Donald, New Scientist

"This book is the single most helpful book I have ever run across in trying to explain to my very visual son what happens when different earth phenomena occur...You will be amazed. I submit you will learn more about "How The Earth Works" than you thought possible. This will generate conversations with your children that will last a lifetime."

Laurie J. Mitchell, Amazon customer

Dictionary of the Earth by John Farndon

Dictionary of the Earth (also published as ‘Earth’) by John Farndon

192 pages Dorling Kindersley (March 1995)

An exciting and original thematic encyclopedia idea for home, school, or college use, Earth explains over 2,000 key words in geography, geology, meteorology, oceanography, paleontology, and ecology. Thematic arrangement allows readers to access information by subject and explore related topics. Specially commissioned full-color illustrations explain the workings of our planet. 


"The book is full to the brim with interesting snippets and definitions that inform and encourage dipping. The author's enthusiasm for his subject is infectious and now I not only understand why armchair-shaped hollows scraped out by ice were unfamiliar but can recognise them in their true setting."

Geoff Brown, Books for Keeps

Volcanoes by John Farndon

Volcanoes (DK Pockets) by John Farndon

128 pages Dorling Kindersley Publishing (Sep 1998)

Small enough to carry in a pocket, yet big enough to carry all the answers, these mini-sized reference books are packed with facts and pictures and arranged in a clear, logical way. Full color.


"Not much is left out of this fascinating book, and students  will want to read and reread the many details and descriptions...there is something for students of all ages in this exciting book."

Reading online

"DK Pockets that are chock full of the same wonderful graphics and information as the bigger books....The reference, glossary, and index areas make this an excellent source book for science research projects. Even though I've read this book before, every time I pick it up I find new facts and pictures that draw me in again and again. In addition to being a good reference, this book is just plain fun. If you like science, natural disasters, or need an A on a volcano report this is the book for you."

Joy Derkson, Kids Reads

"Small enough to carry in a pocket, yet big enough to provide all the answers, DK Pockets are mini-sized reference books packed with facts and pictures, and arranged in a clear, logical way"

Debra Tewhey, Forces of Nature

Weather by John Farndon

Weather (DK Eyewitness Books) by Brian Cosgrove 

72 pages Dorling Kindersley (new edition July 2007)


"...attractive spreads filled with eye-catching illustrative materials and clear, concise writing...the imaginative use of photographs helps to clarify many of the concepts... a visual treat."

Steven Engelfried, Pleasanton Library, CA, School Library Journal

"...a mini museum between the covers of a book."

The New York Times

"A good choice to have for easy reference or a young student's weather project."

Melissa, Amazon customer

"This book was one of my favourite DK books I ever read. Every page of this was very, very great. I’m interested in weather too."

A kid’s review, Amazon customer

Weather by John Farndon

Weather (DK Eyewitness Explorer) by John Farndon

48 pages Dorling Kindersley/Tandem (1999)

Ideal introduction for young chlldren to the subject of weather including clouds, wet air, frost, ice, wind, and air pressure. Includes some projects


"[Books in series including Weather] move beyond basic introductory texts and provide questions as well as answers to some of the complex aspects of each of these topics.... Good resources for reports and for those who want to know how and why things work."

Edith Ching, St. Albans School, Mt. St. Alban, Washington, DC , School Library Journal

"This book has fun weather facts and scientific information highlighted throughout and lively illustrations"

Mississippi Science Framework

"Teaching children to love books is very important, and this book is a great tool for this. My 8 month old boy loves this book & others in the same collection."

Orlando Shorter, Amazon customer

"This book is a good starting point to teach weather to children, it covers all aspects of weather. It is intended for the elementary level but the great photos make this book appealing to younger kids." 

Patricia H. N. "Homeschooling Mom", Amazon Customer

Extreme Weather  by John Farndon

Extreme Weather (DK Experience) by John Farndon

64 pages Dorling Kindersley (April, 2007)

Take an incredible visual journey and experience the windiest, wettest, wildest weather, as you venture right into the heart of the most powerful storms on Earth. Witness the extreme as amazing images take you into the eye of a tornado, show you the awesome force of a monsoon, and reveal the power of a lightning strike. Discover what it’s like to find yourself in the path of extreme weather with a fascinating eyewitness account of a deadly hurricane.


"Fantastic digital imagery takes readers right into the heart of devastating tornadoes, hurricanes, storm surges, monsoons and blizzards. Eyewitness accounts, thrilling stories, and fantastic facts guarantee that this learning experience is an unforgettable one."

Midwest book review

The Practical Encyclopedia of Rocks and Minerals by John Farndon

The Practical Encyclopedia of Rocks and Minerals by John Farndon

256 pages Lorenz Books (March, 2006)

How to Find, Identify and Collect the World's Most Fascinating Specimens, with Over 900 Colour Photographs and Artworks  The ultimate photographic guide to the world of rocks and minerals, with a strong emphasis on how to build a diverse and colourful collection.


"Nicely done - good illustrations, lots of variety, clearly written...Every mineral collector needs several sources to get a good idea of what he or she has and this is one that I will continue to use... worth having among your library."

Stuart Schneider, Amazon customer

Collecting Rocks and Crystals by John Farndon

Collecting Rocks and Crystals by John Farndon

80 pages David and Charles (1999)

Discover how to build your own rewarding collection of rocks and crystals and collect in safe and environmentally friendly ways with this fully illustrated guide. Identification of the different rocks is aided by full descriptions and checklists


"I would definitely recommend as a first level book for the enthusiastic novice collector - it is simple and easy to understand - but with the adult in mind."

Amazon customer

Rock and Mineral (E. Explore) by John Farndon

Rock and Mineral (E. Explore) by John Farndon

96 pages Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (6 Sep 2007)

The book that's online - with a dedicated website and all the latest links. All the latest information at your fingertips! "E.Explore: Rock and Mineral" is a unique combination of a book and a website, created with Google[trademark], the world's most popular search engine. Use the book to read all about mammals, then go online to the safe and secure website to discover more. From rocks flung from erupting volcanoes to stalactites as old as the dinosaurs, explore the history of our planet. Over 1,000 live and updated internet links give you all the latest information. Choose from hundreds of fantastic downloadable pictures, videos, animations, virtual tours, quizzes, realtime-reports and more. Linked to the National Curriculum, it's perfect for projects, or just for fun, so homework need never be boring again.

"E.Explore: Rock and Mineral by John Farndon is filled with interesting tidbits, both scientific and historical, concerning various kinds of stones. The information given is just the sort of fascinating stuff that children enjoy learning."

Sue Bursztynski, January Magazine

"As you'd expect from DK it's attractively presented and covers everything from plate tectonics to the use of metals in does work quite well as reference, and treated as such it's a good buy."

Jo Reid, Popular Science

Collecting Rocks and Crystals by John Farndon

Earth by various authors including John Farndon and Douglas Palmer, edited by James F. Luhr

520 pages Dorling Kindersley (Oct 2003)

The world around us is made up of an extraordinary range of constantly changing landscape. Using an innovative visual approach, "Earth" provides a perspective on our planet's apparently infinite range of natural features and the system of interlinking forces that formed and continue to change them. At the core of the book is a series of visual catalogues of more than 400 of the most impressive, beautiful, or unusual places on Earth - from the Colorado River to the Atacama Desert, from the rainforets of Indonesia to the Antarctic Ice-sheet. These inspiring inventories of real phenomena are combined with explanations of the processes that have shaped our planet over its 4.6 billion years of turbulent history.


"Visually spectacular, this standout guide to our planet offers a thorough look at the Earth's physical dynamics... Pretty enough to serve as a coffee table book, this volume also contains a tremendous amount of absorbing information."

Publishers Weekly

"an encyclopedic, picture-rich, beautifully designed compendium that draws on up-to-date research in numerous fields to tell the incredible story of our planet's birth, place in the cosmos, and evolution...The writing is clear, animated, and engrossing. The page layouts are works of graphic art...superb and stunning"

Donna Seaman, Booklist 

"A fantastic book, with incredible photographs. It covers everything about the Earth, from its place in space through the oceans, the atmosphere, the land and human geography. All explained in simple terms with diagrams for more complex topics."

Amazon customer

"Simply STUNNING !...I have just received my copy of this book and am simply amazed by the content. It covers everything from our place in the Universe to specific examples of a rock type."

Mr. R. J. Wilson, Amazon customer

"A visual feast...this is a book you will never get bored with. Worth every penny and more."

Dragondrums, Amazon customer

Oil (DK Eyewitness Books) by John Farndon

Oil (DK Eyewitness Books) by John Farndon

72 pages Dorling Kindersley (June, 2007)

Eyewitness Oil is a brand new and up-to-date look at petroleum—why we need it, where we get it, and how we use it. By tracing its roots from 6,500 years ago in the Middle East through the Dawn of the Oil Age in 1853 and finally to present day, find out why oil truly is king. Stunning real-life photography of oil tankers, refineries, and spills lets you be an eyewitness to the substance long referred to as "black gold."


"A mini museum between the covers of a book."

The New York Times 

"Pioneering…visually captivating, dependable nonfiction."



Library Media Connection (starred review)

"Really, Really Interesting!...I didn't know a lot about the history of oil and gasoline. It seems in school, it didnt' arrive until J. D. Rockefeller decided to dig it up. Now I know that Babylonians actually used it to pave their roads [and much more]...Pretty neat stuff in this book and I'm an adult. A kid will love it."

Lynn Ellingwood, Amazon customer

"Gives a succinct and clear explanation of the importance of oil to modern economies and follows with a history of the use of oil until the present day."

Deakin Newsletter, Okanagan College Library

Other books

Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rocks of the World
128 pages Anness Publishing (July 2007)

Minerals of the World, Illustrated Guide
160 pages Anness Publishing (December 2007)

1000 Things You Should Know About World Geography (1000 Things You Should Know)
64 pages Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd; New Ed edition (May 1, 2005)

1000 Things You Should Know About Planet Earth (Hardcover)
61 pages Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd (March 1, 2000)

Amazing Planet Earth
256 pages Southwater (August 25, 2001)

Planet Earth: Amazing facts about our world and the natural forces that shaped it
256 pages Southwater (June 25, 2008)

Rocks, Minerals and the Changing Earth by Jack Challoner, John Farndon & Rodney Walshaw
128 pages Southwater (August 25, 2004)

Volcanoes & Earthquakes and Other Facts About Planet Earth (Bulletpoints series)
by John Farndon Miles Kelly

Oceans & Rivers (Bulletpoints series)
Miles Kelly