Children's LiteratureIn 24 pages with plenty of illustrations, readers learn a little about the man, Christopher Columbus, who discovered the Americas for the king and queen of Spain. Columbus studied and worked hard to earn the right to make this trip and as the facts on the next to last page note, he was governor of a colony in the New World. The real focus of the book is the variety of celebrations across the United States and the Italian flavor given to the holiday in his honor. Even though Columbus sailed under the Spanish flag, he was an Italian by birth. Italians have contributed funds to build a statue of him to be located in Walla Walla Washington. Big celebrations are held in San Francisco, Chicago and New York; the most interesting one may be the annual regatta in Miami's Biscayne Bay. The book includes a couple of holiday craft ideas, but without adequate step-by-step instructions or illustrations, and a recipe that is extremely simplistic. The Web sites referenced are kid-friendly and informative. The books referenced are not the most current so that is a drawback. There is a quiz at the back to see if kids absorbed what the text offered and the final page contains "words to know" (a glossary) and an index. 2004, Weigl Publishers, Ages 5 to 8.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 1-3-Totally uninspired approaches to these holidays. The texts are easy to read and most spreads have full-page photos, but the material is extremely limited and not interesting. For example, Labor Day presents a confusion of material on unions, workers' poor treatment in factories, and the establishment of the holiday. In all of the titles, "Did You Know?" sidebars add more clutter than information. Crafts, a recipe, and a facts page are also included. Despite the need for books on holidays, pass these by.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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