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CriticasPreS-Gr 2-Fuzzy teddy bears and delectable frosted cupcakes gleam from glossy photographs as they beckon children to count them. The first title deserves high marks for its appealing layout and for selecting universally appreciated subjects and placing them in sequential order. From one cat to 100 flowers, this book covers larger numbers than most texts designed for preschoolers. Exploring mathematical concepts, such as addition, subtraction, and simple graphing, the first volume offers engaging activities for children even into elementary school. The second volume mixes photography and lifelike paintings of many creatures great and small. Unlike most animal word books, this one groups its subjects according to their physical characteristics (striped or armored) and behavior (nocturnal or speedy). Featuring mostly exotic creatures and providing exact names for more common ones, this book offers young children a wealth of new vocabulary. The third book is crammed full of bright photographs, presenting between six and 12 new words, bilingually, per page. Organized by theme (from body parts to things that move), full-color photographs convey everyday objects and less ordinary ones (at least for urban children) that young children delight in seeing and naming. The final pages offer a wealth of educational activities that emphasize colors, shapes, and numbers. Overall, the vocabulary words are universal, but some objects are labeled with cumbersome phrases not common in colloquial speech. Spanish-speaking patrons might overlook the Spanish content, ignoring the much smaller text around the large English title.
—Anat Shenker, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro,OR Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.