Children's Literature - Susie WildeThis book has thousands of facts, illustrations, and quotable amazement for children of all interests. Editor Jean Craven polled fourth and fifth graders all over the United States to discover "what today's kids are interested in, whom they admire and what their hopes are for the future." Accordingly, the pages of this book are crammed with basic information in areas like countries, sports, people and places in the news, and inventions. These topics and many others will provide a great resource for reports and research projects. There are lots of diagrams, maps, and charts that make information easy to understand. Hidden throughout the book are the kind of fantastic facts kids will enjoy learning.
Zom ZomsAccording to its own definition, an almanac is "a one-volume book of facts and statistics. Almanacs cover sports, the government, countries of the world, the planets, states, prize winners, and many other subjects." In the first edition of this almanac for young people the opening section, "People and Places in the News," capsulizes events of 1994 and 1995. The body of the almanac has sections in alphabetical order, such as "Art" ; "Books" ; "Buildings, Bridges, and Tunnels" ; "Computers" ; "Countries" (including full-color maps and flags); "Health" ; "Money and Business" ; "Museums" ; "Music and Dance" ; "Numbers" ; "Population" ; "Religion" ; "Science" ; "Time and Calendars" ; "United States" (including full-color maps and a time line); "Weather" ; and "World History." Each section includes definitions, explanations, black-and-white illustrations, lists, and puzzles. The index is very brief and, like the index in the "World Almanac", is not adequate to find specific pieces of information With its large type and more white space, this book contains much less data than the "World Almanac", but information has been selected to interest children. For example, the list of most-popular TV programs for 1994 is broken down into Nielsen ratings for children ages 611 and 1217. In some instances, the editorial choices mystify the reader: in the section "Inventions," why transistors and not microchips? In "Law," under "Rights for Children," there is no discussion of the recent Supreme Court decisions denying rights of students in school (censorship of school newspapers, drug testing). The sections are long on narrative and short on statistics. The educational value of the book is high--it will be great for elementary-and lower-middle-school classrooms, teachers, and students' personal libraries. The puzzles are challenging and invite the reader to write in the book. It will be of less value in the reference section of school libraries or children's sections of public libraries, where a standard almanac is still the best choice.
- World Almanac Books
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