Spotlight on Australia

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Margaret C. F. Pollock
A succinct and engaging introduction to an island continent, this picture-filled book would work well as part of a social studies curriculum, as independent reading for young readers or as guided reading for pre-readers. Topology, oceanography, political geography and institutions, history and demographics, natural history and agriculture, and forms of recreation are covered. The book closes with examples and analysis of Aboriginal painting, and an invitation to the student to try making such a painting. This book's presentation of complex topics in brief and lucid form is impressive. Vocabulary words, flagged in bold, are immediately defined in the text or can be found in the glossary tucked in the back. Readers also have the book's table of contents and index as tools. Curiously, however, the content is almost completely devoid of numerals. Do young children not want to know how much, how big, how deep, how hot? Rarely, a spot of confusion springs up; for example, a girl in one photo is supposedly pointing to Australia on a globe, but she appears to be indicating Antarctica or possibly Atlantic islands off the west coast of Africa. A more serious matter is a skewed presentation of ethnicity. Australians are shown with Anglo, Aboriginal and Asian heritage. The latest data count these demographics as 92%, 1% and 7%, respectively, of the population. Yet this book only provides expanded histories for Anglo- and Aboriginal-Australians; Asian-Australians are missing. Finally, symbols on the Australian flag are incorrectly identified. Overall, this is an attractive and commendable volume, but teachers may wish to compensate for the limitations noted. This is one of a short geographicalseries from the same publisher. Reviewer: Margaret C. F. Pollock
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780778734796
  • Publisher: Crabtree Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 3/15/2008
  • Series: Spotlight on my Country
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 526,994
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: IG630L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 10.50 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Table of Contents


Land down under     4
States and territories     6
Life in the oceans     8
Australia's land     10
Life in the "outback"     12
Wild and amazing     14
Who are Australians?     16
The first peoples     18
People from Europe     20
The government     22
Australia's cities     24
Farming and fishing     26
Outdoor fun     28
Your works of art     30
Glossary and Index     32
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