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Hall, Barbara and Doug Hall.

Toronto, Methuen, c1984. unpaged, paper, $6.95, ISBN 0-458-97650-4. CIP

Grades 1-5
Reviewed by Glenn DiPasquale

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

The topic of streetproofing our children is currently very high profile due to the recent publicity focused on events such as the child murders in Atlanta. A recent book on streetproofing by Richard Gossage and Melvin Gunton became a bestseller and launched the two authors onto the speaking circuit overnight. Clearly, parents are hungry for information on the topic and are anxious to find ways to make the street-wisdom sink in. This workbook is designed to do just that. It introduces two characters, Sandi and Andy, who appear to be about eight years of age, and follows them through a series of adventures that illustrate many of the dos and don'ts of safety on the streets. The book is well produced, and the attractive illustrations by Carl Pickering are suitable for colouring. The format is similar to a programmed text in the sense that a situation is presented and the child is asked to pick a response to it. The correct responses are given at the back of the book. A crossword puzzle is also included.

I liked this book and enjoyed going through it. However, it is meant for five to nine year olds, and it is a well known fact that they are less easily impressed than your average book reviewer. Thus, I went to the experts: my son aged ten and my daughter aged seven. They are of course much brighter and more wonderful than average kjds their ages, but they seem to enjoy similar books and things so their opinions should be valid. As the authors might have predicted, my ten year old found the book interesting but too young. It made him think a bit, but was deemed "babyish," and he had little interest in colouring in it or doing any of the exercises.

It was a different story with my seven year old, however. She was quite enchanted with the book, read it through with enthusiasm, and enjoyed the exercises and questions. She learned a lot from it, and had fun as well. She gave it a strong recommendation, and who am I to argue with that? I too give this little workbook a hearty recommendation for the age levels specified. The only improvement I (we) might suggest is to put the answers to the questions at the end of each exercise rather than at the back of the book, to save a lot of page turning and place losing. Also, mom and/or dad should be available to discuss or elaborate on some of the issues raised and relate them to the child's own lifestyle. Reading the Gossage and Gunton book at the same time would also be helpful for parents.

Glenn DiPasquale, York Region Board of Education, Newmarket, Ont.
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