Friday, June 27, 2008
Greetings from the 50 States
Well, Bill (my blog partner here at Literate Lives) is on a short vacation... ok, not really a vacation. More like a coach bus full of 5th and 6th graders headed to Fort Niagra, Niagra Falls, and then historical sights around the Boston area. He does two of these trips each summer, and I will actually be one of his chaperones for the trip in July. But for now, I'm sitting in my nice, quiet air-conditioned home, and his trip made me remember an advance review copy I just got of Greetings from the 50 States, so I thought it would be an appropriate review to do while Bill is on his trip of some of those 50 states! :)
Greetings from the 50 States - How They Got Their Names by Sheila Keenan and illustrated by Selina Alko, is slated to be released in hardcover this September. With two whole tables of ARCs of books to choose from, I was drawn to this one for 2 reasons. First, it has the same postcard design as one of my favorite books of 2008 - Greetings From Nowhere by Barbara O'Connor. Second, one of the Ohio indicators for 5th grade in social studies is to know the location of all 50 states.
But this book is delightfully a little more than just where states are located. Each state has a 2 page layout. On the left side, is an illustration of the state, filled with other illustrations about the state: geographical features, products of the state, state seal, important cities -- all done in a very clever way. The right side contains information like what year the state became a state, which number state it was, and the state's nickname. The part I liked the most, though, is that the majority of the right page is devoted to telling interesting historical facts about the specific state, with the intent of explaining how the state actually acquired its nickname.
This whole book is a different take on the 50 states of the United States, and one I really enjoyed reading! The clever illustrations are very kid-friendly, and actually reminded me of another book like this I enjoy: Go Go America . In fact, I envision using both books as mentor texts to show my students how writers can approach the same topic in mulitple ways.
Greetings from the 50 States - How They Got Their Names is definitely a book you'll want to add to your nonfiction collection!!