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These books support the social-studies curriculum, but the scope is limited and the writing is dry. They offer a series of two-page chapters: a full-page color photograph opposite one or two simple sentences. A world map indicates the particular continent and pinpoints the location within it of each home or family. The name of the country is in a box below the map. In the first title, families in Guatemala, the U.S., New Zealand, China, and a few other countries are shown celebrating a birthday, sharing a meal, having fun together, and more. The book ends by asking readers, "How does your family have fun?" Homes follows a similar pattern, with pictures of huts, stilt houses, apartment buildings, etc.; it closes with the question, "What's your home like?" Both titles would be appropriate for introducing and beginning discussions on similarities among cultures, but readers will have to go elsewhere for more depth.
—Margaret R. TassiaCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.