Children's Literature - Summer WhitingThis comprehensive read will teach young people everything they have ever wanted to know about water conservation, energy, and more. Beginning with the table of contents, the information is presented in a clear, easy to read manner. Topics, including "What is Energy," "Can we save energy at home," and "Wind and Sun," are broken up into short, easy to read paragraphs. The text is surrounded by bold, colorful, and exciting pictures that will entice the reader to read more. Each page includes a "Word Wizard" bubble which highlights a vocabulary word relating to water and energy such as insulation, resources, and nuclear fuel. "Talking Points" are also included on each page and answer questions like "How does electricity reach your home from the power station?" and "Does insulation make a difference?" A glossary and an index are included in the back. This would pertain to the resources and energy unit in the upper grades and would make an informative read aloud for the lower grades. Teachers could implement great practice in using the table of contents, index and glossary with this book. This book should be a standard in elementary classrooms. Reviewer: Summer Whiting
School Library JournalK-Gr 3–Just as this series offers a wide array of subjects, each book covers a broad range of topics. Visually, the effect is almost equal to looking at a series of fact cards arranged on the pages. Our Bodies, for example, provides a few short paragraphs each about nutrition, getting adequate sleep, keeping fit, anatomy, and staying clean. While this structure makes for quick reads, and the tables of contents will direct budding researchers to the information, there is little cohesion between the facts. Moreover, the advice-laden language is instructive, but not always explanatory–for example, Good Manners suggests sending thank-you notes, but gives no advice about how to word them. Also, there are no introductions or conclusions to tie everything together, which might make it hard for readers to see the bigger picture.
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