School Library JournalK-Gr 2-These books present concepts or nonfiction information embedded within beginning-reader stories told in rhyme. In the first title, children visit a "Compare-A-Thon" with tents and animals, where they explore relational concepts of size and speed, among other traits. Though appropriate for beginning readers, the fast-paced text often seems forced: "The race for SLOW is the next show./Who moved- and when-/is hard to know./The Snail is slow./She sets the pace./But Slug is slower in this race." Color illustrations lack the organization that would allow them to support the text effectively. In the second title, a girl converses with a variety of animals regarding their eating habits. With the exception of words such as "herbivore," "carnivore," and "omnivore," the vocabulary is easy. Rhyming text helps new readers predict the words ahead, but it seems a little forced by the end. The color art is somewhat cartoonish, downplaying the inherent danger of a child surrounded by animals that include an omnivorous bear and carnivorous alligator. The note to parents, the same in both books except for the paragraph "Tips for Discussion," provides helpful information, but is printed in green in Pleased, with so little contrast that it is difficult to read.-Pat Leach, Lincoln City Libraries, NE Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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