Academic journal article New England Reading Association Journal

Cryptomania! Teleporting into Greek and Latin with the Cryptokids

Academic journal article New England Reading Association Journal

Cryptomania! Teleporting into Greek and Latin with the Cryptokids

Article excerpt

FINE, EDITH HOPE (2004). Cryptomania! Teleporting into Greek and Latin with the Cryptokids. Illustrated by Kim Doner. Berkeley: Tricycle Press. ISBN 1582460620.

In true Magic School Bus style, we are immediately involved with a lively group of kids who are dreading their vocabulary test, just as they are trying to make sense of a mysterious box that arrived as a first prize for a contest Zander never entered. Ina parallel plot line, the community is getting ready for a centennial celebration, and if they miss the test somehow they can't participate in the event. The six friends figure out their situation, discussing it in speech bubbles, as non-fiction text boxes explain some interesting aspects of English language's relationship to Greek and Latin. Color-coding and differently-shaped text boxes help to keep the thread of sense to the story as the information is presented. A green box in the corner of each page with a comment from Zander summarizing that page is a welcome relief to a slightly frenetic style. Many Greek (in green) and Latin (in red) words and word parts appear on small yellow banners on every page, and white boxes appear containing "factoids" about the different settings to which the children are transported. …

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