Gr 3-6-Did you know that people who dot the letter "I" with a curve have a good sense of humor? Or that hundreds of years ago Persian kings tattooed messages onto messengers' scalps? Bailly combines entertaining historical information about message sending with the enticing topics of secret codes and paper folding. She includes sections on making note paper and inks and on creating an alphabet and secret codes. She also gives instructions, complete with diagrams, on how to fold letters to look like an ice-cream cone, a box, or a crane. White space and an easy-to-read type combine with full-color illustrations, making the book eye-catching and attractive. A nice feature is the bibliography that is broken down to correspond with the chapter subjects. Gyles Brandreth's Writing Secret Codes and Sending Hidden Messages (Sterling, 1986; o.p.) and Burton Albert's Code Busters! (Albert Whitman, 1985) are similar titles, but aren't as effective as Bailly's presentation.Lisa Marie Gangemi, Sousa Elementary School, Port Washington, NY
Children looking for codes to spice up correspondence with buddies or to use in their personal diaries will find them here, but they'll also find a whole lot more. Bailly's lighthearted text includes brief facts about everything from papermaking (with a "recipe" to use at home) and our "ABC"s to graphology and paper folding, complete with illustrated directions, for children who want to send their notes in style. Samples for decoding practice are disappointingly few but sufficient to get the idea across and whet the appetite for practicing skills with a friend. Fun and fact splendidly combined, with whimsical illustrations and good diagrams to round things out.