Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Nonfiction Monday...on Tuesday again!

Today's theme of sorts is geography and history. Each of these books was graciously sent to us for review by Lerner Publishing.

There is not a huge selection of children's books about ancient Babylon, and since many home schoolers do study this time period, this was a pleasant find. Written around a fourth grade reading level, it focuses mainly on the culture and daily life, with a little bit of the history and leaders. While one chapter is entitled "Present-Day Babylon", it just talks about archaeological finds, not modern-day Iraq. While I think they missed an opportunity to include a few related craft projects, making this more attractive to teachers and home schoolers, it does include a nice timeline, glossary, pronunciation guide, index, and reading/web site lists. Looking forward to other books in the series, which include the Aztecs, Egyptians, and Ancient Chinese.


are both new offerings (due out in 2010) in the ever-popular Visual Geography Series. These newer books offer a centralized web site (www.vgsbooks.com) with what they promise are continually updated, related internet links.

A book with "in pictures" as part of the title had better have some good photographs. The covers are striking (we loved the frogs on Suriname's), and we liked the way the text was framed by pictures at some of the chapter beginnings. Many of the photographs were a bit dull, however, and except for the sections on people and cultures, were a bit small in relation to the text. On the one hand, this series is written for middle/high school students, and has a great deal of very accessible information for research and report writing. On the other hand, the series name and book titles would make one expect a bit more to look at as well.

Overall, a good quality series, though. To order yours, click on the covers - we will receive a smallpercentage, which will go towards more materials for our public library.

Check out more nonfiction reviews at: Books Together

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