Posts tagged ‘language’

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Kids on Earth: A Children’s Documentary Series Exploring Global Cultures & the Natural World: Costa Rica

Written by Sensei Paul David

My title does not necessarily imply criticism. This book contains a wealth of information. Readers learn about the climate, customs, language, culture, topography, economy, and recreational pursuits available in Costa Rica. A brother and sister, Joaquin and Yocsary, narrate a soup-to-nuts tour of what a visitor might find while in this intriguing land.

Each page includes a colorful illustration and a box of more fun facts after the explanation. My only criticism is that the storyline could be tightened up to read more smoothly. It feels a bit choppy because the information switches topics rapidly. On the other hand, almost any type of question that a reader might have is answered.

I recommend the series to children who love learning about new cultures, travel, and adventure. Recommended for elementary and middle-school students

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AZTECS AT A GLANCE

Legends of History:Fun Learning Facts about the Aztecs

Written by Matt Curtis

AztecHistory,pic

This was my first time reading a book in this series. Other books in this series discuss civilizations such as the Vikings, Egyptians, and Celts. Quite a bit of knowledge packed into thirty-four pages. Curtis uses a conversational approach in discussing what peoples made up the Aztecs, where they originated, who were their leaders, and how they got elected. He includes descriptions of the cities they lived in, the pyramids within them, and their controversial religious views which involved human sacrifice. One of the sections that I found most interesting was Curtis’ explanation of the social stratification system and the erratic system of justice they followed.

Curtis gets down to everyday life when he talks about children, the games they played, their pictograph language, and the type of ornate artwork and clothing worn and displayed, especially among the noble classes. Of course the empire came to a swift end once the Spaniards landed and the welcoming Aztecs realized that Cortes and the Spaniards intended to deplete their economy and rule their lands with an iron fist. Two years later in 1521, the Aztec Empire had been conquered.

These books are targeted for ages five through fifteen. While the text is clearly written, I feel it most appropriate for readers in the eight to twelve age range. The photos included are small but relevant. Parents, teachers, students and librarians will appreciate having this book on their shelves for reference and a good starting point for further exploration of the topic. I look forward to checking out others in the series.

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