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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Child's Introduction to the World, written by Heather Alexander and illustrated by Meredith Hamilton. Black Dog, Thomas Allen & Son, 2010. $3.95 ages 9 and up

"Almost 90% of an iceberg is hidden below water. The part that you see peaking up is only 10% - or as people say, "the tip of the iceberg."
Icebergs in the ocean can be dangerous, because sailors cannot see the whole thing."

What fun for intermediate students to take a trip in the pages of this book , which offers a lively introduction to the world as we know it today. It begins with geographic basics...exploration, what it's like to live on a sphere, measuring time, mapping, landforms, climate, population, and moves on to the continents.

Borders begin that discussion and we are told that 'there are 195 independent countries in the world'.  On we travel to North America. A map shows the separate entities that make up our continent...Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

In 'need to know' information boxes, readers garner facts about crops, animals, language, holidays, sports, food and inventions. A map is shown and other important information is given in accessible paragraphs and other captions. Each of the continents is described, adding interesting tidbits that young adventurers can tuck away for future use.  There are projects to be shared, and a pop-up paper globe to handle. Reusable stickers are included which might require a return to the text to affix them to the proper place on the globe.
The watercolor illustrations offer a clear view of the many reaches of our fascinating planet. An index and a 'read more about it' section add to the usefulness of the book.

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