Gr 2-4-These titles are attractive, colorful, and appealing, with clear print and numerous photos. Children may be both entertained and inspired by the alphabet format. However, the books are also extremely superficial and filled with errors, omissions, and spurious anecdotes. Each includes a map (for M) and a picture and discussion of the flag (for N, nation). The glossaries provide pronunciations for some English and French/Italian words but not all, and some contradict those given earlier in the texts (or in standard dictionaries). Not all of the photos are captioned, causing confusion. Many places mentioned in the texts are missing from the maps. The entries are devoid of key facts and statistics and are so abbreviated that they often just raise questions. Students are better off with Cynthia Klingel and Robert B. Noyed's France (2002) or Sarah E. De Capua's Italy (2003, both Compass Point) or Elaine Landau's France (2000) or Christine and David Petersen's Italy (2001, both Children's). These titles still have pretty pictures but are more thorough and accurate.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.