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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Greetings From The 50 States (Non-Fiction)

Released September 2008

Reviewed by Deb Fowler

Which state’s name has only one syllable? How fast can you spell Mississippi? What is the capital of the Alligator State? Do you know which state was the last to join the union? Do you know all the state capitals? If you don’t, you can search the map on the adjoining page of each state and find the starred city. The other facts might take a little searching or, in the case of spelling Mississippi, a bit of practice. Greetings from the 50 States has a lot of interesting little facts hidden in its maps if you look closely!

The states are arranged in alphabetical order beginning with Arkansas. Hmmm, is that a fact or am I pulling a fast one here? Young people who know their states can spot this fib in a minute, but others will have to check it out. Each state is accompanied by a colorful map and if you look closely you can discover many interesting things from products to famous people who either discovered the state or lived there. Each state page has a brief, but concise history of its origins and several facts to remember. In the upper right-hand page there is a large star. Inside it tells the reader when the date on which the state joined the union. On the bottom right it has an illustration and gives the name of the state. Have you figured out which is the Alligator State yet?

This book is an excellent resource for not only the origin of the state’s name, but many other interesting facts. It is a large, comfortable lap book or can easily be laid out on the floor for a few youngsters to pore over. It is far from stuffy . . . it is bright, colorful and has some surprising tidbits hidden inside the maps. It even has a caricature of Bruce Springsteen on the New Jersey page! For those strict historians it also includes Sir George Carteret. This book is a keeper and the price is very reasonable for the hardcover edition.

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