________________ CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 10 . . . . November 4, 2011


Landscape Detective: Tracking Changes in Your Surroundings. (Crabtree Connections).

Alison Hawes.
St. Catharines, ON: Crabtree, 2011.
24 pp., pbk. & hc., $7.95 (pbk.), $18.36 (RLB.).
ISBN 978-0-7787-9970-2 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-7787-9948-1 (RLB.).

Subject Heading:
Physical geography-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Suzanne Pierson.

**** /4



Displaying Information

Landscape detectives try to display the information they have collected to make it easy for everyone to understand. Some information is best displayed as a map or a plan. Other information is easier to understand if it is displayed as a diagram or graph.

Landscape Detective is another in the Crabtree "Connections" series. Currently, there appear to be 36 books in this series grouped in related topic groups of three. Landscape Detective: Tracking Changes in Your Surroundings is grouped with two other geography related books, Extreme Places: Could You Live Here? and Passport to Paris.

      The books in the Crabtree "Connections" series are colour coded to indicate whether the focus of the book is Information, Instruction, Report, Persuasive, Explanation, Recount, Biography, Journalistic, and Formal. Because there is no explanation, the colour coding isn't likely to be of any particular use to young readers, but it may be a helpful system for those purchasing the books. Landscape Detective is red on the spine and back cover, indicating that it is written as Instruction. It teaches how to use maps, map keys and symbols. It also gives instruction on how to gather evidence, tools for measuring, displaying information, and searching for information, all related to being a landscape detective.

      Landscape Detective follows a traditional organization with a table of contents at the beginning and an index at the end. It also includes a glossary and a further information page, containing both books and websites. The books are very colourful with an attractive layout including photos, text boxes, and illustrations with many labels. Information is chunked and highlighted in creative ways to draw attention in a very reader-friendly way. Young researchers and readers trying to decipher non-fiction text will find the content easy to access.

      Throughout the book are several suggested activities for students. Some are titled "Try It Out!" and included activities such as:

Try some fun weather measuring activities at: www.weatherwizkids.com/weather-experiments.htm where you can learn such fun things as how to make lightning in your mouth.

      Fun stuff.

Highly Recommended.

Suzanne Pierson is a retired teacher-librarian, currently instructing Librarianship courses at Queen's University in Kingston, ON.

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

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