Monday, February 25, 2008

Non-Fiction Monday

Being a part of the kidlitosphere is fantastic, but for some reason I've never participated in the cool weekly events they host, like Poetry Friday and Non-Fiction Monday. I was determined to have something to post about this Monday and I think you'll be very pleased with the offering, especially those blog readers with older children and those brave parents that homeschool.

Lerner Publishing has this great group of non-fiction books called the "Visual Geography Series," which includes over 80 different countries each as a featured book. The three I had a chance to read are Tanzania in Pictures, Niger in Pictures, and Bolivia in Pictures. I can not explain enough how wonderful of a resource these books are. The photographs are absolutely beautiful in all three books and the text is informative without being boring.

Each title includes additional unique resources besides the typical text about the country and the photographs including timelines, regional recipes, fun facts on sidebars, colorful maps, national anthem lyrics both in the native language and in English, and a list of sights to see if you were to ever visit the country. There is also an annotated bibliography with additional books, websites, and information if you were conducting a country report or doing in-depth research on that specific country. There is also a website, http://www.vsgbooks.com/ where the reader can go for up-to-the-minute information on that specific country, as well as cultural, demographic, and economic information that is being constantly updated.

These books, whether as a set or individually, would make such a great addition to any library or home shelf, especially if you are a home schooling parent. Using these books, as well as the offered website, rather than a simple social studies book in which the countries would have a one page blurb chronically their entire history, definitely allows your child to learn more about specific places in the world. I can imagine myself using these books during an Africa unit or a South America unit at the library, as well as with my child whom I hope to homeschool one day. The books are interesting, informative, and filled with cool facts that will not only interest your child, but intrigue you as well. Who knows, maybe someday you'll be planning a family vacation to Tanzania!

2 comments:

Susan T. said...

Thanks for the review. My 8 year old and I recently put together a map of the world, and he had lots of questions. This series sounds like it would have plenty of answers! I'll look for the books.

Susan T.
Chicken Spaghetti

Jill said...

When I was teaching, I was always looking for good books like this. I'll pass the recommendation on to my current teacher friends.