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SWORD QUEST (Usborne Fantazy Puzzle Books)

Author: Andy Dixon

Illustrator: Simone Boni

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Publisher: Usborne Publishing Limited,

Material: paperback

Summary: Blag the Untrustworthy has kidnapped the king! If he cannot be rescued, the citizens of Gladlands will be forced into slavery. Gladys (the king's grandmother) needs your help. Will you join the knights and help with the rescue? This is an advanced seek-and-find discovery book that introduces critical thinking skills.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, interactive reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 to 13

Interest Level: 9 to 13

Age of Child: Review pending.

Adult Reader Reaction: This is I Spy for the brave! The illustrations are wonderful, but so cram-packed that they can be dizzying. Although I was skeptical about a paper-version of a fantasy game, this one is easily addictive.

Pros: The narrative sets the stage for all of the visual exploring. They offer clues that require some critical thinking and build one's powers of observation.

Cons: Given how jam-packed with items each page is, kids may not take the time to find everything before moving to the next page. There are no "checks and balances" to prevent kids from just walking away because it seems to hard (or checking the back for the answers). We'd recommend moving the answers to the Internet.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. I Spy fans looking for sophisticated puzzles, or puzzles built around a story will love this.

If You Liked This Book, Try: THE GREAT CITY SEARCH (Usborne)   SEE INSIDE ANCIENT ROME (Usborne Flap Book)   100 PUZZLES, CLUES, MAPS, TANTALIZING TALES, AND STORIES OF REAL TREASURE; A PICTURE BOOK COMPANION

Educational Themes: This is critical thinking wrapped in fun learning. Because the pages are not linked, kids have the freedom to select what they want to do. You don't have to finish page 1 to start page 2, so if kids want to skip the "story" they can.

Literary Categories: Fiction - fantasy, puzzles, middle grade, dragons

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2008

Other Reviews:




                 

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