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Children's LiteratureThis is a refreshing approach to learning about the third largest country in the European Union, beginning with the first chapter, "Where in the world is Germany?" After children get their geography straight, they move on to "What makes Germany German?" In this chapter, there is a short paragraph on what happened in Germany during World War II, accompanied by a photograph of a memorial to those who died during the war. This is low-key but appropriate for the age group intended. The text will grab kids and keep their attention, and the photos include many colorful pictures of elementary school and teenage students. Young readers can easily imagine that these children could be their friends. The "Let's Celebrate!" chapter features German festivals, including a picture of Santa riding a motorcycle to deliver holiday presents. With lively text, interesting and child-friendly photographs and maps, readers will enjoy spending some time in Germany. Readers can even don chef caps and try making German Potato Salad with the recipe provided. A "Fast Facts" section explains the German flag, shows the euro, and provides facts about geography and religion. There is also a section featuring famous Germans. This title, part of the "Discovering Cultures" series, is a great choice for elementary school classrooms. An index, glossary, and places to go for further information are listed at the back of the book. 2004, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 8 to 12.
—Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.