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Children's LiteratureIs there really a Loch Ness Monster? This question that intrigues many people is examined in Capstone's "Edge Book" series designed for beginning, struggling or reluctant readers. Although the book uses what is referred to as a "carefully leveled vocabulary," it manages to capture the drama and excitement of the subject quite well. The book is filled with well-told stories of sightings and information about scientific research to try to prove or disprove whether the mythic creature ever existed. "Edge Facts" dot the text, adding interesting bits of background and a sidebar looks at Loch Ness legends from the far past. Despite the discussion of doubts and hoaxes, the book seems to leave the impression that it is just a matter of persisting until the monster is found. Well-chosen illustrations, including photos of the monster taken, or perhaps faked, by individuals, enhance the text and add to the reader's pleasure and understanding. In general, the book is well laid out, but the watery fuchsia borders on many pages are more a distraction than an asset. In addition to listing titles for further reading, there is information about accessing through "FactHound" four web sites researched by the staff. Three are highly informative. One promotes the Original Loch Ness Visitor Center, including merchandise available in its gift shop. The book includes a glossary and an index. 2005, Capstone Press, Ages 8 to 12.
—Janet Crane Barley