Children's Literature - Cindy K. SchofieldThis is one of six titles in the series "Amazing Vehicles." The books are rudimentary introductions to non-car vehicles for readers who are far too young to drive them but may be excited by their power and capabilities. And, just as this review repeats some of what is written in a review of another book in the series, the author includes some of the same content in both of the books reviewed. Photographs of various types of dune buggies are on every two-page spread and text is both in blocks on adjacent pages and boxed next to the photos. Headings mark sections that describe dune buggies in general, discuss details of the little cars including their chassis and their engines, cite typical rules regarding who can drive them, and introduce racing, working, and famous dune buggies from the big screen. It is not clear why it is implied that dune buggies were only used by lifeguards in the 1970s; perhaps they switched to ATVs more recently. There is a glossary defining words that are highlighted throughout the book but it is not clear how the words to include were chosen. The word "steering" is included but the more difficult to read "vehicle" is not. One can only think that the publisher presumes the subject matter will be so appealing to young readers that the editorial gaffs will be overlooked. Reviewer: Cindy K. Schofield
School Library JournalGr 2-3–These titles suffer from a lack of imagination, real material, and a limited vocabulary. The first chapter of each title is almost identical, with terms specific to the topic substituted where needed. The chapters feature brief information in an easy-to-read font accompanied by a large color photo or two smaller ones on two-thirds of the spread. Actual participants in the sport are shown and named, and safety is stressed. Vocabulary is simplistic; e.g., the frame of the ATV is described as holding its parts together. A similar statement appears in most of the other titles. Dune Buggies states three times that some buggies are driven on the street. The authors assume that readers have never heard of gasoline. Various parts of each vehicle are labeled, and defined with limited success, and captions are sometimes redundant.
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