Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Small Readers: Countries we come from: El Salvador by Joyce Markovics

This is a new series in the Little Bits imprint of Bearport, which publishes easy readers. It features a number of South and Central American countries and several Asian countries as well.

This particular volume presents some simple facts about El Salvador. It talks about the country's geography, including volcanoes, the cloud forest, and agriculture. A simple history of the country and culture includes some basic Spanish and a few facts about the native Indians. There is mention of some of the culture - the flower festival and Quinceaneras, food and soccer.

Back matter includes a list of basic facts about the country, glossary, index, and a few titles for learning more.

I'm in two minds about this one and the photographs are part of that. They show a pristine wilderness, dramatic volcanoes, and happy, smiling children and adults. But...El Salvador has serious issues, especially with children in poverty. On the other hand, this is a simple easy reader and you don't necessarily want or need to introduce serious issues into a book that's supposed to convey basic information while allowing children to practice their reading skills.

Verdict: On the whole, I think I'd say yes to this one although it's not what I'd choose to fill in a juvenile nonfiction collection on countries. As an introduction to other countries, especially ones kids are likely to have a connection to, either personally or through other kids they've met, it adds some diversity to an easy reader collection.

ISBN: 9781627248594; Published 2016 by Bearport; Review copy provided by publisher

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