Monday, October 6, 2008

The Scrambled States of America Are Back!

Laurie Keller, the author of the new The Scrambled States of America: Talent Show, is a genius when it comes to amusing me and making learning fun for my students! Her use of word play and puns is delightful. And it's not just the words in her book that are amusing; the pictures and illustrations are so clever. They are not to be overlooked when reading one of her books. Some of my favorite books (and my students) by Keller are Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners and Open Wide: Tooth School Inside. The latter is one of the most popular choices for my students on nonfiction Tuesday and Thursday.

All that being said, when I saw that Keller had a new book out, The Scrambled States of America: Talent Show, I just had to have it!! So, when I was at Cover to Cover last weekend, I picked up The Scrambled States of America, and when Sally Oddi (owner of CTC) told me there was a new version of the Scrambled States, I just had to order it.

Both books will work amazingly well in my classroom. I teach 5th grade, and one of our state indicators is to be able to locate all 50 states on a map. My students literally started learning the 50 states this past week. How perfect to share these funny books about states. They laughed out loud when I read aloud The Scrambled States of America, and now, they all want to be the first person in the room on nonfiction Tuesday or Thursday, so they can "snag" this book to read for themselves.

In my opinion, however, the newest Scrambled States book is better than the first!! It's full of all sorts of hidden "funny"! Since all the states got to know each other better in The Scrambled States of America, in the second book, it is only natural now that they might want to do things together. So, when New York wakes up in the middle of the night, and says, "Let's have a talent show!" every state wants to jump into the action with their new state friends.

10 funny reasons to read this book:
1) Idaho getting ready for the talent show, and asking, "Does this grass skirt make my BUTTE look big?"
2) When Georgia can't stop shaking during her peach juggling performance, she goes to see the doctor to try and find out what's wrong with her. Dr. Globe gives her some tests, and checks her square miles, temperature, and average yearly rainfall. In addition, he xrays her to look at her cities and counties.
3) Michigan doing a ventriloquist act with the lower peninsula being the talker, and the upper peninsula being the dummy.
4) New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New Hampshire singing as "The New States on the Block" while the crowd (the other states) go crazy!!
5) The intermission picture where the girls' bathroom has a humongous line, and the guys are getting right in to take care of business (any female can relate to this scenario).
6) Pennsylvania playing a tune on the Liberty Bell.
7) Wisconsin doing cheesy sculptures.
8) Iowa telling corny jokes.
9) Florida and Colorado joining themselves together to do an impersonation of Idaho. Also, Wyoming and Tennessee doing the same to impersonate Oklahoma.
10) After the talent show, when the states all go home, the page where they chat with each other, is a hoot!

Scrambled States of America: Talent Show
is not just a funny book; kids will be learning the states as they read. The states have distinctive shapes rather they're connected on a map or performing in a talent show. I'll be sharing this gem of a book with my class on Monday, and I'm sure it will be as wildly popular as the first one.


  1. My hands are shaking just thinking about getting it! I AM SO EXCITED!

  2. How about you come next door to teach the lesson-sounds like an amazing one!

  3. This seems like a great book, you should read it aloud sometime!!!
    GO MRS. TERLECKY!!!! :)