Figures made easy
By Otto Herschan
SOMETIMES you find that a child is backward at school in one particular subject, perhaps his imagination is not excited by it. In such a case the right approach may make all the difference.
If it is mathematics, My Second Count and Play Story Book, by Jane Clarke (Nelson, 5s.) is just the job. Instead of the dull 2 12. there are racing cars, pictures to colour, fun to be had and plenty of scribbling to be done; but not too noticeably figures come into it throughout. It depends on how backward or forward the child is, but between the ages of four and seven, he will be helped by this book.
WHILE I am on learning. there are two books published this week by World's Work, which are good: The Adventures of Light and Read All About It, both by Frank Jupo (10s. 6d. each). The books are factual in every way but without sacrificing interest value.
The first is the story of light throughout history and a simple account of its development. The second deals with the means of communication throughout time.
1 recommend them for the inquisitive between 8 and I1.
STILL another book for the under-10's: There is a Dragon in my Bed, by Sesyle Joslin and Irene Haas (Collins, 7s. 6d.). I suspect the publishers in this case to have been rather cunning; they have produced a book which will definitely appeal to and amuse adults as well as children. It is a book of drawings and useful phrases in French and English for young ladies and gentlemen going abroad or staying at home. Each French phrase is also given in a phonetic version. I am not sure whether this is more confusing than helpful but then perhaps it is more fun.
FOR older children there is an enjoyable historic novel by Jane Oliver, Faraway Princess (Macmillan, 13s. 6d.). The author has mixed fiction and history in a most engaging way to make a very good portrait of King Edward the Confessor and his time. In particular the building of the West Minster comes, to life.
Those wko read Kelman D. Frost's Drinker of the Wind will be glad to know there is a sequel. Sahara Hostage (Nelson, 10s. 6d.). The story is set in North Africa and the Touareg tribesmen are on the scene. Sheik el Sabra is determined to own Shalimar, the Arab stallion which has become the joy of the Silver Star Riding Stables. Adventures galore. The illustrations are by Joan Kiddell-Monroe.
MAGIC is the byword for The Tobermillin Oracle, by Meta Mayne Reid (Faber, ISs.), It is difficult to write about this book, for so much happens in such odd ways that a few sentences would hardly give a clue, but then children's "let's pretend" daydreams flutter from tree to tree. Those who like exercising their imagination will revel in this book.
JOHNJ* * and Jane Greverus Perry are the authors of Exploring the River (Macmillan, 15s.), a story of a tour along a large imaginary river, set somewhere in America. It is, I suppose, intended for the 9-12-year-old, and after reading it, he or she will be better informed. However, it will only interest those who are prepared to read a factual almost educational-book; there is no subtlety in its approach and no flannel of fiction to gloss the facts.
AMOST enjoyable story set in Portugal is Nuno, by L. N. Lavelle (University of London Press, 12s. 6d.). It won the Prix Enfance do Monde and understandably so. It is a moving tale about fishermen, about a boat and about Nuno himself, who tries to convince them that he is ready to go out to sea.