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Kalman, Bobbie and Tammy Everts
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994. 32pp, library binding, ISBN 0-86505-221-2 (library binding) $20.95
ISBN 0-86505-301-4 (paper) $9.95. (Lands, Peoples, Cultures). CIP


Kalman, Bobbie and Tammy Everts
Niagara-on-the-Lake (Ont.), Crabtree Publishing, 1994. 32pp, library binding,
ISBN 0-86505-222-0 (library binding) $20.95, ISBN 0-86505-302-2 (paper) $9.95. (Lands, Peoples, Cultures). CIP

Grades 3 and up / Ages 8 and up

Reviewed by Howard Hurt

Volume 22 Number 6
1994 November / December

These twin geographical sourcebooks are part of an interesting series which is attempting to produce two references for selected nations. Canada merits four separate volumes. The editors evidently anticipate the generation of more interest and profits by two books of thirty-two pages rather than a single one of sixty. It should also be mentioned that titles are available in paper at $9.95 or hardcover at $20.95. This price discrepancy is troubling and will create a dilemma for schools and public libraries where ability to wear is important but information concerning countries must be up to date.

There is some encroachment by one twin on its mate but it really should not be suggested that either volume would suffice. Each does offer a unique point of view on a little-understood area of Latin America. Of course, if a choice must be made, schools will always choose The Land because it covers more elements of most curricula. The level of understanding has been carefully aimed at the upper elementary grades, where regional geography becomes paramount without entirely replacing teaching about the family.

The format is repetitious but still very attractive. Each page is almost precisely divided between captioned paragraphs and one large or two smaller illustrations. The reading level is carefully anchored at a uniform intellectual level, not just by vocabulary but also with explanations of notions that would be known to more mature students. Photographs and diagrams are interesting and informative. Each book terminates with a useful glossary and index. Most Canadian adults, never mind children, know little about Peru. It is certainly a good example of a poor nation with genuine riches that has had developmental problems of all sorts. Enough is mentioned of difficulties to provide teachers with an opportunity to create teaching opportunities that could expand to other countries.

These two titles are obvious choices for all elementary, junior secondary and public libraries.

Howard Hurt is a librarian with the Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, British Columbia

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