Editorial Review

School Library Journal (Gebregeorgis Yohannes, San Francisco Public Library, CA)

This profusely illustrated introduction presents some very basic information. Each double-page section briefly covers a different topic, such as the land, its people, flora and fauna, history, education, and contemporary life. A three-quarters page, full-color photo alternates with a page of text arranged in short, bold-print blocks. These brief bits of text are also illustrated with several snapshot-size photos in color and in black and white. Small maps showing the location of areas discussed appear in the margins above the largest photos. Picture captions appear on colored inserts. An appendix offers eight words in the Afrikaans language with a pronunciation guide and English translation. This title has an appealing format and is clearly written. Without being heavy-handed, it points out the terrible changes that Europeans brought to the indigenous people when they invaded Africa and the hardships apartheid caused. There are some minor flaws. The text states, ‘Then about 300 years ago, people from the country of Europe started arriving in South Africa.’ The correct word, no doubt, is continent instead of ‘country.’ Also, while the text mentions that South Africans celebrate a special day called the ‘Day of the Vow,’ it does not give a date for this holiday. On the whole, though, young readers will find this title useful.

—Gebregeorgis Yohannes, San Francisco Public Library, CA

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