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Buddle, Jacqueline.

Illustrated by Annelies Davis. Burlington (Ont.), Hayes Publishing, 1988. 32pp. paper. $83.50. ISBN 0-88625-143-5. (CHP Books).


Buddle, Jacqueline.

Illustrated by Annelies Davis. Burlington (Ont. Hayes Publishing, 1988. 32pp. paper. $3.50. ISBN 0-88625-161-3. (CHP Books).

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 1 / Ages 4 to 6
Reviewed by Pearl Herscovitch

Volume 17 Number 3
1989 May

These two books share the same format: full-colour, cartoon like illustrations and a flimsy paperback design. They are both designed for the supermarket audience and are likely to appeal to parents because they appear to provide activities that will occupy and educate children.

Fun with Words provides exercises on verbs, nouns, compound words, synonyms and rhymes. The activities and examples chosen are often unimaginative and misleading. One double-page spread illustrates sound words but many of the examples chosen are not actually words. "Atchoo," "whir" and "clang" have no real meaning in the English language.

Fun with Sizes and Shapes deals with a number of concepts related to classification and basic geometry. The first section of the book attempts to familiarize children with the comparative elements of size. It could be considered the most successful portion of the two books, but its use is limited to reinforcing skills rather than teaching them. The second section of Fun with Sizes and Shapes introduces too many concepts, many of them irrelevant to the young child. The concept of open and closed shapes is far too abstract and is rarely introduced to young children. Shapes such as a heptagon and dodecagon would have little meaning for the intended reader.

Both titles overwhelm children with complex concepts that should be introduced gradually and wherever possible with the use of concrete materials. The illustrations are often too busy, confusing rather than clarifying the questions. Parents would benefit from consulting an open-ended book such as Tana Hoban's Shapes and Things (New York; Macmillan. 1970). Where children are less likely to be quizzed and are more likely to learn through interaction.

Pearl Herscovitch, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alta.
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