Review Blog

May 02 2012

The Loch Ness Monster: Fact or fiction? by Meredith Costain

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Rigby, 2006. ISBN 9780731272280.
The Loch Ness Monster: Fact or fiction? has been written by Meredith Costain, an experienced and prolific author of fiction and non-fiction books for children. It is part of the series Making Connections, and specifically belongs to the Comprehension Library Grade 4. First published in this series in August 2006, it has resurfaced now as an individual title. It is a slight paperback of 24 pages with a stapled spine.
The subject matter meets our seemingly universal fascination with sightings and tales of the Loch Ness Monster. There is comprehensive coverage of the Loch Ness Monster legend provided in a logical, chronological order.
There is a clear, uncluttered layout with appropriate illustrations - colour and black and white - with photographs, diagrams and maps. The illustrations are labelled in a clear blue type. Chapter headings are labelled in a very large, green type and sub-headings are labelled in a large red type. There is also assistance with pronunciation throughout the text eg 'plesiosaur [say: pleese-e-o-sor]'.
Included are Contents, Glossary and Index with bold type throughout the text for Glossary entries. Inside the back cover of the book are critical literacy activities, which consist of a Graphic organiser and Questions. They could be used for a whole class, groups or individual students.
This book could be described as a Primary reader with large type for young readers. It is suitable for Primary students, for Middle school students eg for research into History mysteries, and for those in remedial literacy programs.
For those interested in the series Making Connections they will find an explicit framework to teach comprehension skills. For classroom use there are interactive big books, blackline master books, teacher's resource books and CD-ROMs. In the Comprehension Library Grade 4 there are 5 books by various authors including The Loch Ness Monster: fact or fiction? Each text is written to address a specific skill and for this book that is fact and opinion.
M. E. Strickland

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