The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 Fact-Filled Maps!

The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 Fact-Filled Maps! illus. by Sol Linero. 112p. index. maps. Wide Eyed Editions. Oct. 2015. Tr $30. ISBN 9781847807113.
Gr 2–5—A colorful introduction to the 50 states. Each spread details a different state and includes an oversize map and some information. Similar in format to Lynne Cheney's Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America (S. & S., 2006), Balkan's book is more neatly rendered (states are in alphabetical order). Facts are laid out on the map and in a separate column. This volume offers the usual content, such as statehood date and order, state flower, and state bird, as well as fun trivia (Pennsylvania is the home of the first banana split). In addition, Balkan provides interesting historical and geographical tidbits not usually found elsewhere and spotlights famous people from each state. Especially nice is the way the author features prominent women and minorities. For instance, the spread on Georgia highlights Yamacraw Indian chief Tomochichi, author Flannery O'Connor, and singer Little Richard. The illustrations are colorful and childlike. Though bright and appealing, the portraits lack detail. Other works, such as Mark H. Brockenhauer's Our Fifty States (National Geographic, 2004), examine the subject in more depth. Still, this is an above-average title on a popular topic, and state trivia enthusiasts will find it entertaining and useful.
VERDICT The up-to-date material and the demand for offerings on the subject make this work a recommended purchase for public and school libraries.

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