Monday, March 28, 2022

Review: Road Trip Earth by podcast creators of Brains On!

 I'm a little late with today's read and have done a change-up to my announced schedule. The other book is still in my sights but will come next month, instead.  But be excited, anyway, because today's review heads into science and fun (I love the two combined!). Brain's On! is a kid's podcast over science, and this one comes from its creators. I have not heard this podcast, but I was still thrilled to get my hands on this book.

Ready for some STEM? (Oh, and homeschoolers will definitely want to toss a glimpse at this one!)

Brain's On!
by Molly Bloom, Marc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten
Little, Brown and Company
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
160 pages
ages 8 to 12

The creators of the award-winning science podcast for kids, Brains On!, take readers on a humorous, highly illustrated, fact- and fun-filled journey through Earth—from the core, to the outer atmosphere, and everywhere in between. Perfect for STEM enthusiasts!

Did you ever wonder why volcanoes erupt? Or why the ocean is salty? How about why no two snowflakes are the same?

Embark on an epic road trip to find the answers to these burning questions and more! The Brains On! team is traveling from deep inside the earth, through the oceans, the land, the clouds, and even into the outer atmosphere in their high-tech ride—to uncover the coolest facts, strangest mysteries, and most incredible marvels of our planet.

Packed with scientific research, mind-boggling trivia, and laugh-out-loud jokes, this highly illustrated fact-filled exploration of the earth promises a brain-bending, jaw-dropping, belly-laughing good time that curious kids and budding scientists won’t be able to resist.



Science gains tons of humor and fun as young readers explore Earth in four different levels.

I haven't had the pleasure of tuning in on the podcast from these authors, but after reading this book, I'm sure it's more than a little interesting. This book is broken down into four sections, each covering a 'level' of Earth: the inside, waters, dry surface, and atmosphere. These are, then, each hit from various directions: geology, biology, chemistry, physics and so on. This last bit is more of a mish-mash in so far that the topics addressed flow together and aren't harshly broken down. But then, harsh isn't a word which fits this book in the slightest.

Science is hit with relaxed, light-hearted, and down-to-earth tones (no pun intended). The facts are there, and these are solid and thorough enough to slide nicely into a homeschooling situation or simply be of interest to science fans. The authors throw in a pinch of nonsense, silliness, interesting facts, and other things, which really have little to do with science, to create a friendly atmosphere and entertaining visit into each topic as well as a broad informational field. There is a detailed index at the end (packed with things, btw) and a bibliography. 

Photographs and colorful illustrations add to the information and keep boredom away. Both are used in strengthening ways, making information clearer. I did find some of the text sections, in compared to the light tone, tread a little heavy on the word end...not because of the writing style but simply the amount. Reluctant readers risk being a bit overwhelmed for those moments, although they are interesting to those, who are into the topic and flow.

This is a fun read which does a great job at bringing science across in a fun and yet informative way.

And here they are...

Molly BloomMarc Sanchez, and Sanden Totten are the creators of American Public Media’s Brains On! and the authors of It’s Alive and Road Trip Earth. They became friends while working at Minnesota Public Radio and decided to make a show for kids, because kids are awesome. They invite you to visit them at, follow them @Brains_On, or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Mike Orodán is the author-illustrator of the Peek-a-Baby series, as well as Crossings by Katy S. Duffield. He lives in Surrey, England. He invites you to follow him on Instagram @thebundad.

1 comment:

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

Sounds like a great book and podcast to get kids interested in science!