The way to care

10th July 1998 at 01:00
MAKING A DIFFERENCE SERIES By Jillian Powell. CARING FOR YOUR PETS. CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. CARING FOR OTHERS. CARING FOR YOURSELF. Wayland. Pounds 9.50 each.

Every aspect of this series makes it ideal for its target five to seven-year-old readers. Text has been restricted on each page to a simple sentence or two in large black type accompanied by an attractive, almost full-page photograph. Empathy and identification are encouraged by the predominance of children and families in the illustrations- from a variety of ethnic groups - in familiar surroundings such as school playgrounds, at home and in the garden.

The subject of each book is dealt with in very basic terms in familiar contexts. So, for example, Caring for the Environment relates water conservation to, among other things, "turning the tap off while cleaning your teeth" and energy conservation to "making sure that things are turned off when they are not being used", rather than in abstract global terms.

On the subject of food, Caring for Yourself offers "Try to eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables but not too many cakes and sweets" and on personal safety - "Never go to places by yourself. It is safer and more fun to go out with your family."

Caring for Your Pets offers mostly general, rather than detailed and pet-specific, facts and advice such as "Pets need to be loved like we do" and "Pets need fresh water to drink every day".

Most common pets such as cats, dogs, rabbits and fish all get a mention and a photo.

Recognising that each of the four subjects covered are common primary school themes, a topic web is provided in each book with extension activities for each curriculum subject. Each book has a simple glossary and index, and a short bibliography.

* Paul Harrison is a former primary head teacher and a freelance writer and lecturer on primary education

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