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Pictures give a world of pleasure

Godfrey Hall's excellent Around the World series (Clothes, Festivals, Food, Musical Instruments, Houses, Toys, Transport, Shops and Markets. Wayland Pounds 8.99 each) would complement a great deal of national curriculum work at key stage 1, particularly in geography and history.

But because they are picture books with simple captions: "Snow is good for building a snowman - or for making snowballs", many children will enjoy reading them on their own.

"Miss, did you know that there's a fruit called an ackee that tastes like scrambled egg? And that children who live near the North Pole cut up dead seals and eat them raw on the ice. . . yuk!" Although it could be argued that very few Inuit youngsters dine al fresco nowadays, these books do offer a fairly realistic impression of the different lives that children lead in other parts of the world.

But the juxtaposition of photographs of, for example, a Nottinghamshire infant sitting on a shiny new toy tractor with that of a Zambian boy and his home-made wire truck, also underlines the message that although children's lifestyles can be dissimilar, their interests and pleasures are essentially the same.

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