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Children's LiteratureThis beginning reader nonfiction is a refreshing introduction to real facts. Using simple pictures, it introduces a pattern (everything illustrated is black) while exposing children to new creatures (a beetle) and things (dominos). It is an effortless approach to broadening children's vocabulary and their interest in books of detail. Even with this approach, the text remains simple enough for beginning readers to attempt with occasional help from an adult. Like the other books in this series entitled "Colors," which covers ten different hues in all, this title's undemanding text mirrors the simplicity of the photographs while adding a layer (in sidebars) for older children who are beginning to read. I can easily see this text as a favorite for several years, with first the introduction very basic and tied closely to inviting pictures. Subsequent readings can move into investigation of a few key components of fact-oriented writing such as a glossary, table of contents, identifying labels and an index. When youngsters are ready, the last four pages contain activities to extend the learning experience. That activity also fits well into the preschool environment as a connection between reading circle time and the arts center. 2005, Capstone Press, Ages 4 to 7.
—Cathy Puett Miller