Exploring Soils

Hardback - June 2017 - AU $24.95

eBook - June 2017 - eRetailers


Take a journey with aspiring soil scientist James and discover the importance of soils in our world.

Have you ever wondered what happens in the earth underneath us? James has, and he wants to learn more about soil. In Exploring Soils: A Hidden World Underground, James discovers that soil is not just dirt for digging in. He explores how plants and animals live in soil, how soils are formed, how they differ, and the ways that soil is essential in our lives. + Full description

Written by Samantha Grover, a soil scientist and parent, and with engaging illustrations by artist Camille Heisler, Exploring Soils will take you to an underground world filled with activity and discoveries.

Exploring Soils is perfect for primary aged readers.

Notable Book, The CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books 2018

- Short description


"The soil beneath our feet holds many secrets. Understanding and caring for our soils is one of the most important things we can do. Soil is as important for life, as water and air, but how many people know this? Or how to unlock its secrets.
This delightful children’s book, written by soil scientist Sam Grover and charmingly illustrated by artist Camille Heisler, presents us with a key to do so. Written to introduce exploring young minds to the fascinating world of soils and especially to the hidden world underground, it is packed with interesting facts and colourful images.
It deserves a place not only on family bookshelves, but in every preschool and primary school library. Parents, grandparents and teachers, too, will all enjoy the imaginative journey of discovery it offers."
The Honourable Penny Wensley AC, National Patron, Soil Science Australia

"Soil scientist Samantha Grover has written a child-friendly book imparting lots of information about an interesting topic whilst not being in the slightest way didactic."
Lynne Babbage, CBCA Reading Time (blog), 18/7/17

"charming children's picture book with delightful illustrations... It's the perfect gift for the budding gardener in your family, and a starting point in understanding our soils, the basis for productive life on our planet."
Penny Woodward, The Organic Gardener Magazine, October 2017, p. 80

"The book is a perfect introduction to an often overlooked field of science for children aged six to nine."
Bill Condie, COSMOS, October 2017, p. 97


Hardback | June 2017 | $ 24.95
ISBN: 9781486305001 | 32 pages | 220 x 285 mm
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Colour illustrations

ePDF | June 2017
ISBN: 9781486305018
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Available from eRetailers


  • Engaging child-centred storyline with captivating illustrations
  • Aligns with Australian curriculum and Soil Science Australia’s ‘Soils in Schools’ initiative
  • Supported by teacher resources
  • Visit the illustrator's website for more information


Dr Samantha Grover is a soil scientist. She and her plant ecologist partner have two young boys who are fascinated by the natural world. Their endless questions and the UNESCO International Year of Soils combined to inspire Dr Grover to create this book to share the wonder of soils with a wider audience.

Camille Heisler is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Melbourne. She is currently finishing a Master in Contemporary Art.

As a child Camille became fascinated with the visual world as soon as she received her first pair of glasses. Camille loves colour, making marks and working with light, observing the detail of things. The subject matter of her work often brings into focus the overlooked and the as yet undiscovered.

She also loves to read. For this book Camille enjoyed the challenge and wonder of working with pencil and watercolour. She hopes you like the end result.

For Teachers

We have created these Teacher Notes as a free PDF download to support the use of this book in the classroom.

Teacher Notes (1.49 MB)