Children's Literature - Uma KrishnaswamiPart of the "Colors of the World" series, this handy little volume explores the Land Down Under by examining its colors. An introduction provides some general information on Australia. Each subsequent page displays colors like the Navy in the Australian flag, the Red of Ayers Rock, and the White of the sail-like roof of Sydney's famous Opera House. Trivia about each place accompanies its dominant color, so these books can be read by the child with interest in detail, or browsed through by the younger reader in search of arresting images. Other books in this series include Colors of Germany, Colors of Japan, and Colors of Mexico.
School Library JournalGr 2-5Twelve double-page spreads cover a few specifics about these countries in a typeface and vocabulary best suited to middle school students, but without enough information for that audience. Both books are organized by colors that represent various aspects of the countries. The illustrations, watercolors in broad strokes, are pretty enough but not very informative. Germany begins with an introduction and outline map that shows its location in the world and the bordering countries. White stands for the walls of Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria where Mad King Ludwig lavished his money. Yellow is the candlelight on traditional Christmas trees, and is accompanied by an illustration of a child who looks very sad. Silver is a Mercedes. Pink is the eyes of the witch who caught Hansel and Gretel. The topics are totally unrelated except that they are somehow associated with Germany. Young children will not understand this book at all; older students will not benefit from these cursory mentions of broad topics that do not really show Germany's complex history, geography, or legends. Australia follows the same pattern: cream is the color of the sheep, red is Ayers Rock, white is the roof of the Sydney Opera House, green is the eucalyptus tree, yellow is one of the colors used by the aborigines in their paintings, etc. Many other more appropriate and useful books are available on these countries.Dorcas events memorable for young readers. The full- and double-page illustrations lend drama to the text. An introductory "Author's Note," an afterword, and a time line provide background information. This easy-to-read title will fill a void in many libraries. Used in conjunction with biographies on Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., etc., it is the ideal supplement to units on civil rights and African-American history. Students will glean much information on segregation and teachers will find it particularly useful as an introduction to school integration.Lauri McKain-Fernandez, Highlands School, Birmingham, AL
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