Monday, November 13, 2017

Review: Let's Explore Countries series from Lerner


There are lots of different places to visit in the world! Have you ever been on an island? What would it be like to live on one? Take a trip to tropical Cuba and learn about the history and culture of this Caribbean country. Full-color photographs and carefully leveled text bring Cuba to life, while age-appropriate critical thinking questions introduce readers to nonfiction. It's almost like being on the beach yourself!

It's getting a bit difficult to find up-to-date nonfiction country books these days. I was happy to see Lerner has a new set out, because their text and illustrations are usually high quality, with components such as index, glossary, and additional resources.

This series is part of their "Bumba Books" line, created especially for younger readers. They wouldn't do for a report, but are perfect for introducing younger children to a country they have heard about, or may be visiting (as a military town, this comes up more often than it might other places!) I have looked at Cuba and China so far, and they seem to be a good mix of environment, foods, and basic geography. 

There is much more that could be included - holidays, politics, history - but these are meant to be short easy readers. Since the push is for more nonfiction in the early grades, it is good to have some selections that are bright and interesting. Most pages include a question to engage your reader in a little more critical thinking. I would highly recommend them for a school or classroom library, and will be getting the rest of the series for our public library shelves.

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