Children's LiteratureAn encyclopedic reference volume from the "Discovering Cultures" series, Asher offers a comprehensive study of China packed into 48 pages. This is an excellent addition to an upper elementary or middle school social studies unit on China or comparative cultures. The reader will learn about life, school, and celebrations in China through the pages of this textbook-like resource. Readers will discover what the Chinese put in red envelopes during Spring Festival, the history behind the Forbidden City, and why the Chinese thought it important to separate themselves from their neighbors by a Great Wall. Directions on making tangrams, playing Tiao Fangzi or Chinese hopscotch, and how to make egg drop soup are included in this book that brings the seemingly distant Chinese culture into the grasp of those less familiar with the rich history and tradition of the Chinese. The large amount of pictures and graphics are deceptive in making the book appear more simplistic than it is. Sections on the flag and money, numbers, a brief glossary, biographies of notable Chinese people, additional information on China, and an index make this an easily accessible book for use by upper elementary or middle school students. This is a serious reference that covers all aspects of modern Chinese culture. 2003, Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish Corporation,
School Library JournalGr 1-4-Although two very different countries with very different cultures are presented, the same formula is used in both books, with the same chapter headings and almost identical pagination. Each series title shows a contemporary view of the geography, people, food, schools, recreation, celebrations, and language of the featured country with only the briefest mention of any history. Numerous clearly labeled photos show children involved in various activities. These are colorful and current introductions, but offer little substance and are not well organized for reports.-Nancy A. Gifford, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Sandy Asher lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Keith Graves lives in Austin, Texas.
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