Children’s Readers Roundup

Rather than try to come up with a new topic every couple of days, I have decided to review all the children’s readers we use and write one post for each series. That should keep me going for a while, and hopefully turn into a useful resource for teachers considering their next purchase.

I have written briefly about a couple of series on the blog:

Story Street (10.12.22)
Oxford Reading Tree (10.10.23)
SRA (09.08.13)

but they were all fairly superficial posts. I plan to go much more in-depth this time around. There will also be a big comparison post at the end.

I’m quite excited about this project.

There is just one concern, which is the legality of posting content as part of a review. Does anyone know what is acceptable with regards to posting photos (of text, artwork, the outside cover of the book, CDs, etc.) taken by me?

I will probably contact the publishers just to make sure, but any advice or experiences would be much appreciated!

That is a really good question that doesn’t have a simple answer. One of the first problems is determining which country’s laws are applicable. As I understand it, even though you are in Japan, and posting from Japan, the laws of the country where your website is hosted would apply. I can see from your whois information that your website’s IP is in Clearwater Beach, Florida, USA, so I think that US copyright rules would apply.

Under US copyright law (again as I understand it) including a limited amount of information for the purposes of review would be considered fair use.
For more information see:

However, Japanese copyright law does not have fair use provisions. Instead, it has a number of limitations of copyright. In the case of a book review, I would guess that Article 32 dealing with quotations would apply.
For more information see:

Probably not the answer that you are looking for, but I hope it helps.

Thanks for the comprehensive answer, Cameron! It’s definitely helpful to have an idea of the frameworks involved. I hadn’t even thought that I might be subject to US law…

I guess the easiest thing would be to ask the publishers in question, eh?

19 Oct 2011, 8:04am
by Cynthia Akazawa


I wrote for permission to read storybooks on a local cable channel. One use turned out to cost $300, and even though I wrote to about 20 publishers, I got very few responses. I scrapped the idea. I thought they would be thrilled to have their books exposed (advertised), but they are very possessive. I once asked Pearson Longman if I could use the Superkids logo in my yellow pages display ad, and they refused. My experience has been, don’t ask, or you will be denied or priced out of practical use. You could just do it, and it would probably be fine. Or you could just do without and post a link to an approved sight, like Amazon.

Hi Cynthia

That does seem a bit shortsighted of the publishers, eh?

Looking through the links Cameron posted above, I think it would probably be considered fair use, so it might be good just to run with it and see what (if anything) happens…

I’m still curious about the copyright on a photo that you take of copyrighted material. The photo copyright is yours, but does the material copyright trump that? What about taking pictures of logos and characters then?

20 Oct 2011, 10:39am
by Richard Attwood


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the Reading Tree! It’s still growing and has gone through a lot of changes since you last wrote (for example, there is now an explicit phonics and decoding programme alongside it). Will you be including the Time Chronicles series? I think they are some of the most fun stories for Kipper and co.

I would advise against a “Don’t ask” policy, especially in anything which could be construed as promotional, either of your school or your own services. I’ll ask someone from OUP Japan to get in touch with you about image copyright. Yes, it looks like a murkly legal minefield but one that has been navigated many times before.

Thanks Richard. Appreciate you taking the time to comment. Always good to hear straight from the horse’s mouth 😉

I haven’t seen the Time Chronicles series yet, so that’s another for my wish list. In fact, I may go and order it now. Thanks for alerting me.

I see this blog as a way to provide information and engage in a dialogue with other teachers, and hope it is not taken as being promotional. It is certainly not intended to be!


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