School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 2-4-The idea of organizing a book around topics according to the alphabet from A for "Animals" to Y for "Yearly Festivals" is a good one for the target audience. However, some of the information is inaccurate. Readers are told that the Russian word for mouse is "rot," which actually means mouth. Likewise, the distinction between "narody" [sic] and "liudi" is incorrect. While some oversimplification for the intended age group may be unavoidable, the text and photo captions have too many misleading or incorrect statements. Russian minority peoples living in the far north should not be referred to as tribes or Eskimos, and while Peter the Great was named czar at the age of 10, he did not rule the country until he was 22. Most of the photographs are excellent and informative, though there may be too much emphasis on traditional dress. Also, it is inappropriate to use photos of schoolchildren in Soviet uniforms wearing the little red star pins of Lenin as representative of Russian children nowadays. In the pages on important people, only men are presented. A glossary includes the words reindeer and antler, but not the term bacteria, and the definition of Communist as "a form of government in which property is shared" makes the Soviet Union sound like one big commune. Helen Frost's A Look at Russia (Pebble, 2001) is a better choice.-Elizabeth Talbot, University of Illinois, Champaign Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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