4 out of 4 stars
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What’s College About Anyway by Betty Thomas Patterson is a children’s picture book that provides introductory information about college. The story takes place in an elementary school classroom, with the teacher giving a lesson about what college is and its positive aspects. The teacher, Mrs. Sims, explains that college is where you go to learn about whatever type of job you want when you grow up. There is basic information provided that college is not free (and how to pay for it), extracurricular activities, and how you can attend college near your town or far away. Mrs. Sims also asks the students questions, such as what do they want to be when they grow up and if anyone in their family had gone to college.
I enjoyed this short book as it broaches the subject of college to young children in an interesting way. The class discussion is thought-provoking – for example, getting kids to consider their goals and the possibility of attending college in another part of the U.S. or even another country. The picture book style would appeal to ages 4-8 although slightly older children might also like the story.
The book is perfect for beginning readers as the vocabulary is fairly simple, for the most part. I noticed only a few words that would likely be unfamiliar to a child – scholarship, grant, and tutoring. Many of the pages contain only one or two sentences and the illustrations provide good visual cues. There are also pages that include a few paragraphs, but they are short and easy to understand. The book would also be a nice choice for teachers or parents to read aloud and discuss during storytime.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Agus Prajogo. Each page contains a full-length picture and a few of the pictures are spread across two pages. The colorful artwork accurately represents each part of the narrative. I particularly liked that the illustrations showed diversity among both the elementary students and college students. I also liked the author’s choice of a casual, almost whimsical font for the text.
I am pleased to report the book is free of errors, as this is especially important in a children’s book. Too many independently published books contain spelling and grammatical errors, and it was refreshing to discover this was not the case here.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It’s an entertaining story which provides useful information to children about an important topic. It would make a great addition to a child or teacher’s bookshelf.
What's College About Anyway?
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