Spain, the People


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9733-3
DDC j946




Reviewed by John Walker

John Walker is a professor of Spanish studies at Queen’s University.


There are at least two dozen countries covered by the Lands, Peoples,
and Cultures Series, with two or three volumes for each country. Apart
from the three countries treated here, other Latin American states in
this series are Argentina and Peru.

In a format and style eminently suited to preteen readers, the first
volume, Spain, the Land, explores the country’s mountains and rivers,
plants and animals, industry, and natural resources. Spain, the People
looks at those who live there (the Castilians, Basque, Catalans, and
others), the different languages and ways of life, city living, and
village life. Spain, the Culture describes the music and dance (e.g.,
flamenco) of the country’s different regions, the art and
architecture, and the various holidays and festivals.

The three volumes on Mexico follow the same format. Mexico, the Land
describes the country’s different landscapes, earthquakes, volcanoes,
agriculture (especially corn), transportation, and ancient Indian past
(e.g., the Aztecs). Mexico, the People portrays the various
pre-Columbian races, family life, religions, customs, and city and
village life. Mexico, the Culture discusses the country’s mix of
ancient cultural traditions and modern Spanish influences on arts,
crafts, music, dance, fiestas, cooking, and folklore.

El Salvador is covered in two volumes that guide young readers through
this beautiful and tragic country in Central America. El Salvador, the
People and Culture details the country’s Mayan origins, geography,
weather, plants and wildlife, city and country life, farming, and
industry. El Salvador, the Land narrates the history of the country from
independence to its brutal civil war in the 1980s. The volume also
considers the country’s traditions, music and dance, religion, arts
and crafts, and sport (especially soccer).

The text in each of the volumes is enhanced by the stunning
photography, colorful illustrations, and sidebars highlighting
particular pieces of interesting information. Each volume concludes with
a useful glossary and an index. Solid research, magnificent photos, and
an easy-to-follow format make these books valuable tools for any
middle-grade student interested in other lands. Highly recommended.


Lior, Noa, and Tara Steele., “Spain, the People,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,