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Scholastic Book Clubs Criticized for Marketing to Children

Easy Reading: "Wonders of America: Yellowstone"

C_1416954058 "Yellowstone is a magical place," writes Marion Dane Bauer in the beginning reader Wonders of America: Yellowstone.

Having visited the park when I was a kid, I can say, "Yessss!" in complete agreement. I was happy to discover this series, "Wonders of America." Other titles include The Mighty Mississippi, Mount Rushmore, and Niagara Falls. Was someone following us on family vacations?

With only a few simple sentences at most per spread, Marion Dane Bauer hits many Yellowstone highlights: geysers, hot springs, wild animals, and forest fires—all of which will intrigue newly minted readers. Older children might be inspired to find more books on subjects such as  how wolves were introduced back into the park. Come to think of it, the Miss Rumphius Effect blog mentions two books on that subject today. I wish Yellowstone had included suggestions for further reading.

Beginners will need some help with the text, even though the book is rated a Level 1. Don't get me wrong; that's okay. How else are you going to get better? It's fun and impressive to use words like "fumarole" and "pronghorn antelope." John Wallace's cheerful watercolors clearly depict what the words convey.

These days, when I come across easy readers, I think of my first-grade reading buddies. Soon I'm going to throw an atlas and some cool Yellowstone photos into my backpack and share this book with them. I know they're going to want to see the geysers one day, too.

For additional recommendations for children's nonfiction, don't miss today's roster at Charlotte's Library.


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Thanks for highlighting this one. I may need to pair it with George's book on wolves so that they can learn more about the park itself.

For older readers, it's a very simple book, Tricia, but I think it captures the essence of the place. I really, really want to go back to see Yellowstone again.

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