Some of the most fascinating aspects of history and geography study are the cultural elements. Learning how people live, what their land is like, how their society is structured, the type of food they eat, etc., all add texture to subjects that can seem like no more than dry lists of facts. These details also help us relate to people with whom we may have little (if anything) in common, and to better understand what's going on in other parts of the world.
The Lands, Peoples and Cultures series created by Bobbie Kalman supply many of those details for a variety of countries and cultures around the world, from Canada to Vietnam to Ireland. Each sturdy volume is filled with engaging full-color photographs of people, places, artifacts, and more, along with accessible and information-packed text. For every country covered in the series, there are three books: one for the people, one for the land, and one for the culture.A glossary at the back of each book identifies and defines important (and usually foreign) terms.
These are excellent texts for nation and unit studies, as supplements to a history or geography spine, or simply as books for kids to flip through on a rainy day. If you're worried about the "National Geographic factor," don't worry—these are tasteful and appropriate for kids. A well-rounded education will help kids get beyond a narrow ethnocentric view of the world, and the books in this series are excellent resources for helping parents achieve this goal with their elementary and middle school kids.
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