Cool Castles and Palaces
Series of 8 titles
What famous castle is said to have inspired the castle at Walt Disney World? How many rooms does the Palace of Versailles have? Readers will find these answers and more as they learn about the history, secrets, architecture, and specific rooms of some of the world's most elaborate castles and palaces. Real, behind-the-scenes photographs allows readers a peek inside the castle or palace walls, while infographics and sidebars provide the information they're dying to know about the rooms or kings who inhabited them. An At a Glance feature provides a map and quick facts on the castle or palace. Each title also includes a table of contents, infographic, glossary, index, compelling What Do You Think? sidebars to encourage deeper inquiry, and reading tips for teachers and parents.
|Interest Level||Grade 2 - Grade 5|
|Reading Level||Grade 2|
|Number of Pages||24|
|Dimensions||7.5 x 9|
|Guided Reading Level||K|
|ATOS Reading Level||2.8-2.9|
|Accelerated Reader® Points||0.5|
|Features||Glossary of key words, Index, and Table of contents|
Readers are given keys to some of the world’s most lavish and secretive abodes when they pick up the Cool Castles and Palaces series. Each book focuses on one royal dwelling, offering a snapshot of its history, inhabitants, layout, function today, and, of course, copious photos. Inviting layouts utilize large illustrations (either photographs or a simple diagram of a floor plan or estate grounds), descriptive captions, and a paragraph or two of large-sized text, placed against a colorful background. Buckingham Palace bears the distinction of still being used by British royals today, and kids will marvel at its 775 rooms (including 78 bathrooms!) and a cleverly hidden door. Using a senstaional opening, Dracula’s Castle quickly debunks the vampiric reputation of Romania’s Bran Castle but notes how it inspired Dracula author Bram Stoker’s description of his fictional Count’s home. Readers return to Imperial China in Forbidden City, which explains different parts of this palace complex. Another sprawling estate is detailed in Palace of Versailles, though the text acknowledges how France’s poor weren’t fans of its extravagance. Each volume is divided into three chapters and concludes with at-a-glance facts and geographic map. Textual repetition and bolded glossary terms help support independent reading–guided reading tips and activities are also available to educators–resulting in a well-structured but fun entry into non-fiction.
Series Made Simple
Authors invite readers to embark on a tour of each castle or palace, with sentences like “Atop an extinct volcano in Edinburgh, Scotland, sits a fortress. It is more than 600 years old.” A table of contents, color photographs, sidebars, critical thinking questions, a location map, a layout of the castle or palace, basic facts about the structure, a glossary, and an index make up each title. No source notes or a recommended reading are included but the authors link instructions for how to access the publisher’s proprietary website, where readers can search and find resources related to each book’s content. VERDICT This is an inviting, Western-centered series that, despite some issues, gives readers a good overview and a critical look at the featured castles and palaces.