________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007

cover

Listen Up! Alexander Graham Bell’s Talking Machine. (Step into Reading. Step 3 Book).

Monica Kulling. Illustrated by Richard Walz.
New York, NY: Random House (Distributed in Canada by Random House of Canada), 2007.
48 pp., pbk. & hc., $4.99 (pbk.), $15.99 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-375-83115-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-375-93115-4 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922-Juvenile literature.
Inventors-United States-Biography-Juvenile literature.
Telephone-History-Juvenile literature.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Gail Hamilton.

*** /4

excerpt:

One day, by accident Alec spilled acid on his pants. He called into the cone, “Watson, come here! I want to see you!”

Watson came running. “It works! It works!” he shouted. “I heard every word!”

     Part of the “Step into Reading Program,” this Level 3 book is meant for children who are ready to tackle new vocabulary and read on their own. The story begins in Scotland in 1874, where “Alec” began to experiment with sound, and follows the development of the telephone and Alec’s successful presentation of his new invention at the World’s Fair in Philadelphia in 1876. Large text, plenty of repetition and only one or two simple sentences per page are geared to helping young readers practise their reading skills and gain meaning from context. Occasionally, the repetition can be a bit monotonous, but generally this book delivers on its promise to provide “easy-to-follow plots” and “engaging characters.” With the exception of a black-and-white photograph of Bell taken in 1892, the illustrations are rendered in watercolours and match the text, further adding to the reader’s understanding of the story and the time in which it took place. An early telephone cone appears in the lower left-hand corner of the page on three occasions, serving as a time line. Illustrations are fairly basic, with not too much detail, but they are often infused with a bit of humour.

     Though certainly not the best book for beginning readers, this title does serve its purpose.

Recommended.

Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

NEXT REVIEW |TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR THIS ISSUE - October 26, 2007.

AUTHORS | TITLES | MEDIA REVIEWS | PROFILES | BACK ISSUES | SEARCH | CMARCHIVE | HOME