England -Rachel Bladon
Macmillan Cultural Readers
This is a book about England organized briefly into a well- organized structure. It starts with the country's history from the past to modern history, traditions, cities, daily life etc. In every chapter, the articles are structured by time, which lets readers follow along easily. The book ends by questioning itself, such as will England still have queens and kings? However, the author thinks that we won't know what the world will become like as the English still watch Shakespeare's plays and go to the Lake District on holiday.
Compared to 'Not for Parents', this book has a totally different style. 'Not for Parents' introduces information is small pieces. By comparison, 'England' introduces topics in a brief but complete way. The target audience for this series are foreigners, and I did learn a lot from it. Take historical people as an example, although I have learned about Florence Nightingale and Darwin, I still had to search for their names so I could know who the book was talking about. If I never read this book, I wouldn't know their English names.
It is very hard to tell which part of the book I like the most, but I will say 'traditions' is definitely in my top 3, especially as I learnt the tradition that Norway gives England a large Christmas tree every year, which just appeared in our Christmas quiz! What a surprise! (But the question wasn't for my table, sadly.) I also learnt about the Father Christmas and Maypole dancing in this chapter, and these kinds of special customs really make England a fascinating country.
Least Favorite Part
Since I didn't like sports very much, before I read that chapter I thought I may not like it. However, there were some very interesting facts. Being a country with a long history, England invented a lot of sports and some of them are not so famous outside of England, such as rugby and cricket. According to the book, traditional cricket matches take so long to finish, so people came up with a short version that only takes 3 hours. That is still quite long for me.