Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction


Spring 2006 Non-Fiction
Ages: All Ages
Author: Taro Miura
Illustrator: Taro Miura
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 0811852466
Hardcover Price: $15.95
Certain concepts are so vast or abstract that young children (and even some adults) have difficulty visualizing them. Putting such ideas into concrete terms and images is a great path to understanding, and is the basis for Taro Miura's picture book Ton. Miura, a graphic designer, uses an almost wordless approach to demonstrating the weight of things. Aside from giving the numerical values, he lets the illustrations speak for themselves—the stack of bricks on the forklift weighs one ton, while the semi weighs ten tons and the steel beam a mere 50 pounds. One clever sequence of pages shows mathematically how much a train weighs, car by car by car. The stenciled images are simple and bright, and the many children who love construction equipment and transportation will enjoy studying each page. A note at the end explains the difference between the English system (short tons) and the metric system (metric tons), giving the metric equivalents for each item in the book. A nice introduction to the world of weights and measures, even for the youngest child.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2006 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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