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“You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue... More

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Author: Mara and Ford Smith

Illustrator: Jennifer Johnson Haywood

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: PEEL Productions, Inc., ©2004

Material: hard cover

Summary: Four or five clues help you name a specific piece of US history (person, place, thing) or part of our culture. This picture book uses an ABC format to help kids learn about the US.

Type of Reading: family reading; anytime reading; read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 5 to 9

Interest Level: 6 to 8

Reading Level: 0.3

Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a clever way to introduce pieces of history and culture. It fits with the idea that kids will remember more if they have short, pithy facts. The illustrations are very well done and help non-readers give answers, too. Although you probably won't need it, there is an answer key in the back.

Pros: This well-illustrated picture book helps kids learn American history and culture as they walk through the ABCs. Rhyming text and simple sentences make this a good selection for a reluctant or remedial reader.

Cons: Although this is a clever way to introduce history and culture, the riddles are too advanced for the picture book audience and older kids will be put off by the rhyming text.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at best. For kids who struggle with learning, this may be a useful tool, as there are pictures to complement the facts.


Educational Themes: Use this book to collect facts about American history. Information is presented in small "bites" that can help reinforce memorization. There is a parents guide for ways to use the book.

Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level .3

Literary Categories: non-fiction - history, picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2008

Other Reviews: No Critics' Reviews or reader feedback found. We’re interested in your review. Please enter your Name (and blog in Parenthesis), then copy/paste your post link in the URL field. With a link exchange, we both benefit because interested readers can visit you too!


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