Gr 2-4-These fascinating books offer a new way of looking at countries. Topics include inventions, food, animals, sports, transportation, and musical instruments, to name a few. A greeting opens each book, offering basic geographical information, a brief history, a map, and a color photograph of the flag. In Spain, inventions include the diving bell and quill pens. In Switzerland, readers learn that Velcro was invented there, as were contact lenses. Both books include a pronunciation guide for common words in each language. Students looking for factual information for standard reports will have to consult other resources, but these titles offer nontraditional alternatives to books that focus on statistical and historical information. The texts are lively and the photos are colorful and crisp, making these books interesting reads even when there isn't a report due.-Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.