CM . . .
. Volume XIII Number 13 . . . . February 16, 2007
This pair of books is based on a television program which follows six-year-old Daniel Cook on a series of learning adventures, and children who are watching the programs, which are filmed from Daniel's perspective, are able to experience the world at their own level. This experience, unfortunately, does not cross over to the medium of the book very well.
It is hard to determine what age group the books are aimed at. The text is large, and the sentences are short, both characteristics which would suggest the early reader, but there is too much text on the page to be a first reader type of book. If the books are aimed at a younger audience, then they are books which would have benefitted from larger pictures and smaller print. The size of the text simply dominates the page, drawing the reader away from the pictures.
The books don't flow very well either; the pictures don't match the words on the page, and the meanings of words and the explanation of components often come a page too late. There is also no consistency in regards to the pictures and the different font used. In some cases, the text reflects Daniel's thoughts and comments, but then the next picture/word grouping is just more information on the processes being explained in the book. The result makes for a very confusing and choppy read.
Having said all this, the books are very informative. The pictures help to portray a very inquisitive young boy whose interests reflect those of the average child. The activity, which is included at the end of each book, is explained very well, is easy to follow; and is a good way to put into practice some of the information learned in the book. Young children will enjoy the tactile components of the crafts.
Recommended with reservations.
Ruth Sands is a freelance writer from Vancouver, BC.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.