Monday, May 10, 2010

Nonfiction Monday: Jamaica and Iran - Lerner's Country Explorers series

Other books from this series have been popular here with report writers, so we were pleased to receive these two to review. The bright, inviting covers (not to mention the manageable size) make them among the first selected off the shelf. The text is simple and short, paired with beautiful photographs and fun sidebars - in the Jamaica edition, for example, an imagined postcard from a visitor faces a guide to speaking patois.

One characteristic we really like about this series is the relevance to kids. Yes, we do learn about climate and imports/exports, but never in a dry fashion. We also learn that schools in both Iran and Jamaica are so crowded, kids have to share the school day, and in Iran boys and girls go to different schools! Those are the kinds of things we would have found interesting as young turtles.

At the end of the book we have those report essentials: a picture of the flag, and a list of 'vital statictics' (population, landforms, etc.), followed by glossary, index, and websites. We like seeing a table of contents and index in shorter books - perhaps not really needed, but they can help kids learn to use them, so that bigger books don't seem so cumbersome later.

A great series for any library or classroom! If you choose to order by clicking on the picture links, we receive a small portion of the proceeds for our library. For more great nonfiction reviews, click here.

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