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Children's LiteratureIn readable prose addressed to the proficient first grade or second grade reader, this nonfiction "Rookie Reader" book introduces basic geographic facts about the Great Lakes, using a map, colorful photographs, and one to three sentences per page. Vocabulary includes some specific place names such as various feeder rivers, the Erie Canal, and several islands. The informative text introduces the concepts of formation of the Great Lakes by glacier action, the idea of trade by water, and the various recreational and other uses to which the lakes are put. Photographs are clear, recently taken or so it appears, and with enough variety (aerial photo, one from outer space, a walleye or fish, archival canal boat, windsurfer and so forth) to interest reluctant readers as well as the committed ones. Taken as a whole, the series introduces important concepts and geologic features of mountains, provides pictures to talk about, and introduces major geographical features to new as well as challenged or less-able older ones. The series is also useful in second and third grade social studies units of the United States typical of most U.S. school systems. A picture glossary and index are also included. 2004, Scholastic, and Ages 5 to 7.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.