________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 21 . . . . February 10, 2017


Pop. (I Love Music).

Aaron Carr.
New York, NY: AV² by Weigl (Distributed in Canada by Saunders Book Company), 2016.
24 pp., pbk., hc. & eBook, $11.40 (pbk.), $23.04 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-4896-3586-0 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4896-3585-3 (hc.), ISBN 978-1-4896-3587-7 (single-user eBook), ISBN 978-1-4896-3588-4 (multi-user eBook).

Subject Heading:
Popular music-History and criticism-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-2 / Age 6-7.

Review by Georgette Nairn.

* /4



The first pop songs were easy to learn. People listened to them on the radio. Pop songs are made to be enjoyed by everyone.

Pop is part of the "I Love Music" series, a set of books geared towards grade 1 and 2 students. The purpose of the series is to provide information about, and encourage interest in, a variety of music genres. The book has several different text features, including a table of contents and additional "Pop Facts" at the end of the book. There is also a list of "Key Words" divided into sight words and content words, along with when the words first appear in the book. There is also an online web address that provides supplementary activities, but the website was not accessed as part of this review.

      The book moves between vague generalized facts about pop music and personal opinions about the genre supposedly expressed by the children in some of the photographs. I found that the facts in the book weren't necessarily specific to pop music and could really be about all types of music. If all the "I Love Music" books in this series are all similar to Pop, I'm not entirely sure how they would help a child distinguish between the different styles of music.

      The language used is simple, which would make it easy to read by the recommended age group. However, the fact that there is additional online support material, and pages in the back "intended for use by adults as a learning support to help young readers round out their knowledge" (p.22) leads me to believe the book is meant as a shared reading experience. If the purpose of the book is, indeed, more of a read-aloud, then the basic language is too simplistic to be interesting to the listener.

      The pictures are colourful, and each page has the same format – large photo spreading over a page and a half and then a smaller photo on the other half of the page. Each page is framed in the exact same way which makes it resemble a leveled reader. The photographs are a mix of children enjoying music and photographs of well-known singers such as One Direction and Taylor Swift. Children will likely enjoy seeing photographs of artists that they recognize. One must consider though, how long this book will be relevant in the future, as the popularity of music stars is often in flux. The text is white in pink text boxes, and some lime green frames the smaller pictures. These colour choices give the impression that the book is geared more to females than to males.

      Pop tries to be too many things, and so it becomes muddled, vague and confusing to use. Is this a jumping off point for conversation about music? Is it an informational text to be read out loud to a class? Or is it meant to be read independently by beginning readers? The answer is unclear.

Not Recommended.

Georgette Nairn is a teacher at Harold Hatcher School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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