School Library JournalGr 3-6-These brief, colorful introductions discuss geography, culture, lifestyles, school, entertainment, and holidays. Each one includes a recipe and song, and Mexico also has a game and craft. Both contain abbreviated glossaries and mini-biographies of three famous people. While these books are lovely to look at, and will appeal to children, the information is dreadfully superficial (and stereotyped). The maps are inadequate and don't identify neighboring countries-even those mentioned in the text-or, for France, mountain ranges. There are no statistics (area, population, etc.). The best alternatives are Donna Knoell's France (2002) and Barbara Saffer's Mexico (2001, both Bridgestone), which provide far more in-depth overviews for the same audience. Compare, for example, Asher's generalized comment, "Today, most Mexicans attend a Catholic church," with Saffer's statements: "About 89 percent of Mexico's population is Roman Catholic. Many Mexicans mix their Catholic beliefs with ancient native beliefs." Saffer is specific, yet mind-expanding at the same time.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Meet the Author
Sandy Asher lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Keith Graves lives in Austin, Texas.
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