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Oil Spills
Oil Spills
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Award Winners Print Book Supported by Capstone Interactive Supported by myON Reviewed Titles Accelerated Reader
First Facts

Oil Spills

The Gulf oil spill off the coast of Louisiana has captured the interest and concern of students across the country. With this accessible introduction to oil spills, young students learn about how they happen, their effects, and how people work to clean them up. Clear text and outstanding photos offer readers context to current events and this important environmental issue.

Reading LevelGrades 1-2
Interest LevelGrades 1-3
Lexile LevelNC 730L
ATOS Level3.8
AR Points0.5
AR Quiz #140488
PublisherCapstone Press
BrandFirst Facts
Page Dimensions8 1/8" x 8"
Page Count24
BindingReinforced Library Binding
List Price: $24.65 School/Library Price
Additional Formats
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SimplyScience Blog

"“Where does gasoline come from? What is used to make both electricity and plastics? The answer is oil.” This book introduces early readers to what oil is and its uses, how spills happen and their effects on life and the environment, and how they are cleaned up. Definitions are included on the page where they are used in small inset sections and clear pictures, many of them labeled, and interesting graphics support the text. In light of the recent Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this book is timely and is a good way to introduce the subject to young readers in a way they can understand. It has a table of contents, glossary, more reading, Capstone’s fact hound website, and an index. This book would be a good way to start off an environment study or energy study as well as a history topic for young learners. Activity 1 Do the experiment at the NOAA site. Write up the results and explain how this relates to cleaning the animals covered with oil in an oil spill. Activity 2 Review how electricity and motor vehicles require using oil. Look up ways to cut down on how much electricity you use. List all the ways you can find. Make posters to remind people about the ways that taking even small steps can help reduce our oil dependence. Here’s a good source of information about oil spills from the National Wildlife Foundation." - SimplyScience Blog

March 9, 2011

Booklist Online - Ian Chipman

"With the worst oil spill in U.S. history still posing problems in the Gulf Coast, it’s a ripe time to teach kids why these sorts of calamities pose such wide-reaching environmental risks. For young readers, try this entry in the reliable First Facts series. With a couple sentences of straightforward text per page and a nice array of photos, maps, and offset “Oil Facts,” the book divulges how spilled oil can permeate all sorts of wildlife and plant life, setting off a disastrous ecological chain reaction. Following brief accounts of the Exxon Valdez spill and the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the book ends on a more hopeful note, touching on different methods for containing and cleaning oil spills and the steps responders take to help out affected wildlife. A glossary reinforces the handful of words bolded throughout, and a list of additional print and online resources (via Capstone’s website database, round off this quick, informative title." - Booklist Online

February 14, 2011


NSTA Recommends - Jacqueline Pfeiffer

"More than 700 million gallons of oil seep into our oceans every year! This and many other eye-opening facts are sprinkled throughout this dynamic book aimed at readers in grades 1 to 3. The recent Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion and the floundering of the Exxon Valdez are two highlights of this up-to-the-minute little book. Every child has heard of the recent oil spills, and this book capitalizes on that interest. The book is set up in a standard manner with a table of contents, glossary, link to the "Facthound" website, and list of more books to read. The photos enhance the book's message and make science concepts more accessible to young children and relate science to their everyday lives. The two-page diagram of the oil being cleaned from a pelican includes just one of the great pictures. "Oil Facts" also make the book more interesting. For instance, readers will learn that oil can coat birds’ eggs, which may stop them from hatching. The Exxon Valdez dumped 11 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean—enough to fill 20 olympic-sized swimming pools. It can take up to 300 gallons of water to clean the oil from one pelican. The author is based in Florida and has written many books on science for children. The consultant is a professor of biological oceanography and investigates the ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. They were intimately involved in the most recent oil spill. The book is also available as part of Capstone’s Digital Interactive Library. Part of the proceeds from the book will be used by the Louisiana Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Rescue Program to help wildlife affected by oil spills. I highly recommend this book for its up-to-the-minute coverage of our recent oil spill; the great photos and interesting text will entice young students to do further research on this topic." - NSTA Recommends

April 7, 2011

Science Books & Films - John D. Owens

"This book written specifically for grades K-2 uses small words and lots of pictures and is a brief 24 pages in total. Because it is so brief, it is not comprehensive, and therein lies some of its problems. You can almost tell that the book is driven by the Deep Horizon spill in 2010. The cover asks three questions: How do oil spills happen? What effects do they have on animals and the environment? and How do people clean up oil spills? I am not sure that the authors meant for the book to be biased or one sided, but it appears to come across that way. I could see this book as part of a series examining oil and our world: (1) oil and gas exploration and drilling, (2) refining and oil product manufacturing, and (3) how we use these products in our lives. A series like this would give a much clearer picture of our connection to oil. The information presented in the book is factual; however, because it covers such a small part of the overall picture of oil and our world, the theme seems one sided." - Science Books & Films

April 1, 2011


Library Media Connection - Mary Northrup, Reference Librarian, Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods,

"A very timely topic that children may have heard about in the news is covered in this information-filled book. From an explanation of what oil is and where it comes from to a description of how oil spills are cleaned up, text and photographs work together to make these concepts understandable to young readers. Two of the biggest spills in modern history are highlighted: the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Captivating photographs bring home the effects of oil spills on animals and the environment. Throughout the book, color photos show the destruction and the cleanup efforts that have been undertaken. Animal lovers will be especially interested in the two-page spread on “Saving Wildlife,” which gives a step-by-step demonstration of how oil-covered birds are saved. The text is easy to understand, with unfamiliar words in bold and then defined on the same page. Short sidebars offer statistics and other interesting information. An up-to-date coverage of a major problem, this book would make a good supplemental source in science or environmental studies. Bibliography. Glossary. Index. Rrecommended." - Library Media Connection

August 1, 2011


Bank Street Children’s Book Committee

2012 Best Children’s Books of the Year list

March 1, 2012