Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review: Historic and Lively - What Am I? by Joyce Markovics


HISTORIC AND LIVELY
WHAT AM I?
American Place Puzzlers
by Joyce Markovics
Bearport Publishing
Picture Book / Non-Fiction
ages 3 and up


What has a main street and hundreds of historic buildings? If you guessed Colonial Williamsburg, you're right! This book introduces early readers to a mystery American place by describing its features, one by one, using short simple sentences and eye-popping full-color photos. At the end of the book, the secret place is revealed across a colorful, two-page spread. Young children will love showing off their beginning reading skills as they learn about amazing American places--one clue at a time! Fast facts and maps at the end of the book provide key information about the place. Rich, colorful photos and a clever design are sure to grab and excite emergent readers.



MY TIDBITS

With lively, real life photographs, this book describes Colonial Williamsburg while offering kids interesting tidbits along the way.

This book tries to help listeners/readers puzzle together an historic site in the United States by giving hints and clues so they can 'puzzle' it together. It's a cute idea, encouraging kids to think while trying to piece together the information offered in the pages step-by-step. Each illustration/photograph follows this scheme with its puzzle-appearance on the page, where a couple pieces are missing to give it that real game feel.

The text is very simple and short, making it appropriate for even youngest listeners. There's only one piece of information on each two page spread and the photograph fits to it perfectly. While the idea is grabbing and the book does a great job an introducing an interesting historic site to listeners/readers (and will even leave them curious to go visit it themselves), the one offered in this book, Colonial Williamsburg, is so unknown that the chances younger listeners have even heard of it are slim. This leaves a hint of frustration at the end since listeners have no way of solving the puzzle and might feel a bit cheated. It does, however, offer a great addition to those who are learning about the area or who have heard of the place before.

At the end, there's a Fast Facts section with more detailed tidbits about Colonial Williamsburg, a map of where it is in the United States, and an index as well as a website address where kids can learn more. The information is well-rounded, will inform listeners in a fun way and awaken their interest to visit the site.

Young children will love showing off their beginning reading skills as they learn about amazing American places--one clue at a time! This new series introduces emergent readers to iconic American places through a fun guessing game. Each 24-page book features controlled text with age-appropriate vocabulary and simple sentence construction. Vibrant photos and a clever design are sure to grab and excite young readers!

There are 8 titles in this series, all of which can be viewed here at Bearport Publishing.