Children's LiteratureKalman has provided a thorough overview of the culture of Mexico. She begins with a brief explanation of the different cultures that have blended together to create the unique Mexican culture, then goes on to explore those cultures in turn, from ancient cultures to the influence of the Spanish. Kalman then looks at several different aspects of the Mexican cultures, ranging from Mexican arts and crafts to Mexican cooking and holidays. Each aspect discussed is illustrated with full-color photographs and clear dialog. Words that appear in the glossary are presented in bold face font throughout the text. Also provided is an index. Part of the "Lands, Peoples, and Cultures Series." 2002, Crabtree, $7.95. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
Children's Literature - Victoria RylesYoung researchers will be able to use this text as a compact yet insightful look at Mexican culture. A representative array of topics are covered including the ancient cultures and the influences of the Spanish colonizers. Also included are art and its purposes, musical forms, musicians past and present, different types of dance, and national costumes. Language and literature are presented, including famous writers and national folktales, and fiestas and holidays, including details on how they are celebrated. Different sports are explained, as is the topic of leisure, including Mexican cooking, with a simple recipe for polvorones, or sugar cookies. A large number of brilliant photographs and delightful illustrations work together to bring the subject to life. Unique facts, helpful diagrams, such as a simple pronunciation key, and use of some Spanish words for key terms help clarify the concepts. This research tool gives enough information to create a basic understanding and presents the facts in such a way that students learn specific topics they can then explore in greater depth if they should so desire. Please note that this book is part of a series entitled "The Lands, Peoples, and Cultures Series." Reviewer: Victoria Ryles
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 3-5-There are some changes in these updated versions of the 1993 titles-increases in population, highways and railroad tracks are noted, and many pictures have been replaced-but the revisions are not significant. Culture highlights the arts, music, dance, legends, holidays, cooking, sports, and language. Land is a mixed bag-true to its title, it delves into geography, earthquakes, volcanoes, and resources, but it also speaks of illegal immigration into the U.S. and problems between the rich and the poor. People focuses on aspects of daily lives. There is overlap among the books-all three have very similar sections on Mexico's ancient cultures. Culture and People have some repetition dealing with religion and holidays. Nevertheless, the photos are bright and clear, the texts are readable, and the length of the books makes them a less formidable resource for research projects than many reference books.-Anne Knickerbocker, Cedar Brook Elementary School, Houston, TX Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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