CM Archive
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MacKay, Kathryn E.

IIustrated by Pamela Tate, David Prothero, and Lesley Fairfield. Toronto, Curtis Communications, c1985. 44pp, paper $2.95, ISBN v.l (0-920543-00-6), v.2.(0-920543-01-4). vj (0-920543-02-2), v.4 (0-920543-03-0), v.5. (0-920543-04-9). Distributed by Firefly Books Ltd.CIP Examples: vol. 3 and vol. 5.

Grades 3-6
Reviewed by Jane Robinson

Volume 14 Number 3
1986 May

Is this book for you? Here is a quiz to find out!

Yes No
I like laughing 覧 覧
I like tricks 覧 覧
I like making things 覧 覧
I like riddles 覧 覧
I like puzzles 覧 覧
I like being busy 覧 覧

Answer yes to any of the above statements from each volume's opening quiz and the author promises that this book is for you. But I cannot agree. Originally published as syndicated newspaper columns under the title, "A Place for Kids," these two activity booklets (part of a series of five) are a collection of games, riddles, puzzles, trivia and facts, things to make and do, and miscellaneous tips on everything from bicycle safety to how to get rid of the 澱lahs."

There is unquestionably a lot of good material packed into Action Kids, but it is lost in the packaging. Colourless and small (8 1/2 in.x 5 1/2 in.), the booklets' overcrowdedness is accentuated by small print, laboriously long crossword puzzles, and too much text to a page (with the exception of riddle pages). Poor editing compounds the problems. Some of the activities need directions where none are present, some directions are incorrect, and there is a repetition from volume 3 in volume 5, albeit with additions made. The many crossword puzzles have no an answers given, making it impossible to learn from the more challenging clues or to check one's accuracy.

As originally published, that is, as separate pieces in a newspaper column exclusively for kids, the material would appeal to and entice its intended audience. In this format however, its appeal is considerably lessened and limited to eight-to-twelve year olds who have already completed many other books of this type. Recommended as a possible resource for teachers. Not recommended for library shelves.

Jane Robinson. Winnipeg, Man.
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