In the Strange, Strange Woodby Gail W. Bell

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In the Strange, Strange Wood by Gail W. BellReview by: Donna S. DemianThe Reading Teacher, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Dec., 1972), pp. 321-322Published by: Wiley on behalf of the International Reading AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20193211 .Accessed: 24/06/2014 22:35Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .Wiley and International Reading Association are collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extendaccess to The Reading Teacher.http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 195.34.79.192 on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:35:46 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=blackhttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=irahttp://www.jstor.org/stable/20193211?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspEvery chapter is rich in vivid description, conversation, and examples. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book is its practicality. The author tells practically what was done and how it was done. While the problems and solu tions are limited to the particular situations described in the book, all chapters contain several workable and achiev able suggestions that could be used by teachers in other schools attended by children from foreign speaking homes. The book has warmth, compassion, understanding; it sparkles with reality; it is colorful; withal it is education ally sound. And, oh yes, the unusual title! How come? In the countries from which these children had migrated spinsterhood was unknown. They were deeply distressed because their "Miss" was unmarried. Puzzled and unhappy, they discussed the matter endlessly. To quote: "In all their young lives they had never met or heard of an unmarried woman living alone. 'Nobody in house?' they exclaimed, their eyes wide with pity, 'Only you?' and were not comforted when she told them that she had two lovely cats to keep her company. Little Sharifa came next day with an old brass curtain ring and pushed it on her finger. 'A Wedding Man,' she said firmly, 'is nicer than cats, Miss/ " In the Strange, Strange Wood, by Gail W. Bell; illustrated by McRay Magleby. Hardcover, 28 pages, $2.25, copyright 1972. Brigham Young University Press, Station One, Box 296, Provo, Utah 84601. Reviewed by Donna S. Demian, Oxford, Ohio. In the Strange, Strange Wood reflects the design of our times, that is, a combination of classical construction and contemporary creativity. The classical construction is out lined in the story of a little boy who lives in a house by the woods?that woods holding excitement which only he discovers on a rainy day when no one will play with him. The contemporary creativity unfolds in the invention of new words for natural phenomena, such as the rumblot, the red spotted kangaree and the orange and green triple tree. The aliveness sparked by new words is extended into the colorful and original illustrations by McRay Magleby. The blend of the classical and contemporary in this book forms a beautiful picture of the meaning of self-discovery. The little boy is led into such deep involvement in the woods that he actually becomes the centipede, a definite advantage while escaping from a kangaree, and another tribute to the unity of text and drawing. The involvement of self-discovery is more than a picture one can gain from this book. This "wood of words" could be a great stimulus in both language and speech development. Children could become these characters in a short playlet, in which the animals create their own sounds. (I'm auditioning for the part of the yellow feeper.) This experience could be ex tended into creating further dialogue for all the characters, or writing a similar, yet new playlet. In the Strange, Strange Wood is the first in a series that will concentrate on different sounds and rhythms. If a simi Critically This content downloaded from 195.34.79.192 on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:35:46 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsplar balance of constructionism and creativity can be main tained in future volumes, this series could prove to be a renewing breath in language development. resources Basic Concepts in Reading Instruction?A Programmed Approach, by Arnold Burron and Amos L. Claybaugh. Pa perback, 129 pages, $2.95, copyright 1972. Charles E. Mer rill Publishing Company, 1300 Alum Creek Drive, Colum bus, Ohio 43216. Reviewed by W. Dorsey Hammond, Oak land University, Rochester, Michigan._ The authors of this programed text state that their purpose for writing the book was twofold: 1) To serve as a supple ment to a professional text by presenting selected basic concepts in the teaching of reading which can be used by a student as a preview or review of a wider discussion of the topics initiated herein, and 2) To facilitate the begin ning student's identification, organization, and retention of selected basic concepts in teaching of reading by eliciting his active participation in completing the programed les sons. To some extent the first purpose is met. The presentation of basic concepts is such that their use for preview or re view could enhance a more indepth study of the topics. In fulfillment of the second purpose, however, the authors seem to have missed their goal. To their credit the authors have not made grandiose claims about the book. The content is more superficial than it need be and the programed instruction format lends itself to this superficiality. The reader can "complete" the book with a minimum of active involvement. As a general rule, the answers required to get closure do not require the reader to think deeply about what is being read. The answers consistently require such terms as: "individualized instruction," "critical thinking," "individual," "method," "approaches," "skills," and so forth. The danger is that the reader will pick up much jargon and "in terms" but very little understanding of the concepts of reading. With this level of activity there is also the danger of students searching merely for correct words and therefore missing the value of these concepts. The less sophisticated student may be lulled into a false sense of security by being able to bandy about terms with little understanding of their meaning or application. We don't need to encourage more of this type of thinking or behavior with students at either the preservice or inservice level. The lessons on "Informal Techniques of Assessment"; "The Informal Reading Inventory and The Cloze Test Pro cedure" are a refreshing exception to the lack of opportu nity for the reader to go beyond a literal recall level in responding to the programed format. In these two lessons the reader is required to interpret and apply basic concepts. For this reason the book could be an appropriate supple mental text for a class in reading diagnosis. However, it does not include any treatment of miscue analysis, an im portant aspect of reading diagnosis. The remaining lessons unfortunately are not as strong. The Introduction, "Developing a Definition of Reading," 322 The Reading Teacher December 1972 This content downloaded from 195.34.79.192 on Tue, 24 Jun 2014 22:35:46 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspArticle Contentsp. 321p. 322Issue Table of ContentsThe Reading Teacher, Vol. 26, No. 3 (Dec., 1972), pp. 259-352Front MatterEditorial: Testing and the Classroom Teacher [pp. 260-263]Evaluation and Reading: Perspective '72 [pp. 264-267]Informal Teacher Testing in Reading [pp. 268-272]Informal Reading Inventories: Diagnosis within the Teacher [pp. 273-277]Criterion Referenced Measurement: An Alternative [pp. 278-281]Criterion Referenced Tests: Let the Buyer Beware! [pp. 282-285]Interpreting and Using Test Norms [pp. 286-292]National Assessment of Elementary Reading [pp. 293-298]Reading Tests in 1970 versus 1980: Psychometric versus Edumetric [pp. 299-302]Testing Reading: Product versus Process [pp. 303-304]Reporting Test Data in the Media: Two Case Studies [pp. 305-310]The Clip Sheet [pp. 312-313, 315, 317]Critically SpeakingBooks for ChildrenReview: untitled [pp. 320-321]Review: untitled [pp. 321-322]Professional ResourcesReview: untitled [pp. 322-323]Review: untitled [pp. 323, 325]Review: untitled [p. 325-325]Review: untitled [pp. 325, 327]Review: untitled [pp. 327, 329]Classroom MaterialsReview: untitled [pp. 329, 331]Review: untitled [pp. 331, 333]Review: untitled [pp. 333, 335, 337]Review: untitled [pp. 337, 339, 341]Briefly Noted [p. 341-341]ERIC/RCS [pp. 344-351]Back Matter