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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Neighborwood: Pen Pals 2 (Volume 2) by April Manning is part of a series of fun educational books for children. Neighborwood is a forest habitat where all sorts of fascinating plants and animals can be found. Squirrels work away at gathering nuts etc, bees pollinate flowers and affect our lives in many vital ways, plants soak up excess water in the ground and give off oxygen, and the turtle has an important role to play too. The turtle and the sea turtle both write pen pal letters explaining what life is like for them, and the reader is invited to find similarities and differences in the environments and behaviours of these two creatures.
April Manning's book would be an excellent addition to a class library or for use as a teaching resource that helps children learn about different habitats. It is well written in a good sized font, short sentences, and in a style that will engage the interest of children. Young readers may read the book themselves or it would be very suitable to read aloud to a group of children. There is just the right amount of information to inspire children to find out more about forest habitats and I like the way the author poses questions.
The idea of the turtle and sea turtle writing letters to tell us about their lives is lovely. The text is complemented with charming, light, full-color illustrations on every page that contain plenty of detail – just right for encouraging further thinking and observation. Children will love the gorgeous little creatures and especially, I’m sure, the tiny snail carrying the turtle’s letter. Neighborwood is a fun and colorful book that helps children learn about the world around them.