Review also includes:
Let’s Bake a Cake, 978-0749688547
Like the others in the series these books start with children’s experience of something familiar and everyday and use this as a starting point for exploring the world beyond. Let’s Read a Book begins with children’s favourite reading places, and then moves on to the products used in bookmaking and in book design and production. There is interesting information about different scripts and a helpful ‘Books and Writing Timeline’ to give an historical perspective. Let’s Bake a Cake takes young readers into a kitchen where children are making a birthday cake with Grandma. Then they are moved on to the places where the cake’s ingredients are grown, harvested and processed. In each book, the written text is clear and friendly and different styles of print are used making, together with the colourful illustrations, for lively pages. I do wonder, though, if the well intentioned practice of putting ‘key words’ in bold might disorganise the reading process for some young learners.
The text is sometimes matter of fact when it comes to potentially unsettling information. When explaining how milk is collected and made into butter in Let’s Bake a Cake, we read that female calves are raised for milk, and that some ‘boy calves’ are raised for meat ‘but others are slaughtered at birth’. This is bound to lead to questions that may be difficult to answer.
The format is familiar to all who know about that robust survivor in a digital world – the children’s print information book. Here, the double spreads are not filled with a collage of library sourced photographs and pictures but have the coherence often achieved when the author is also the illustrator. Pictures and print have a modern look and there is an effort to encourage talk and interaction by having questions on most of the double spreads.