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Children's LiteratureHaving visited Iceland more than once, I found this title in the "Enchantment of the World" series informative and a great way to prepare a report or bone up for a subsequent visit. The format is set up logically, introducing kid-friendly information and then a discussion of how this land near the Arctic Circle came to be. The contrasts of the fiery volcanoes and glaciers shown in full color make the differences quite clear. Maps and illustrations show the variety in the terrain and the areas of major geological activity. It was here in 1963 that modern scientists could actually watch the birth of an island, and even today, continue to monitor the development of plant and animal life on this island. Kids will learn about the purity of the Icelandic language, which allows reader to enjoy the texts written more than 800 years ago. Also, the way names are created and the control of the language makes for some interesting tidbits. I especially liked the Icelandic term for beepers and pagers, "thief of peace." The chapters devoted to history, the economy, the government and the flora and fauna are comprehensive, clearly written and liberally illustrated. There is a section that discusses the Icelandic resentment of the NATO airbase and the genetic study that could be a benefit to such a homogeneous population or to some, a threat to their privacy. A timeline, fast facts section, resource list, index and bio about the author complete this well-organized and well-written reference. A book for any library or prospective traveler to this fascinating country. 2003, Children's Press, Ages 10 up.
— Marilyn Courtot