Sunday, September 6, 2015

Book review: The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan

New Children’s Book Explores the U.S.A with 50 Fact-filled Maps! 
The 50 States Will Be a Sure Hit with Kids and Parents

Children will be inspired by the inventiveness, beauty and diversity of the United States in this lavishly-illustrated collect of fact-filled maps. There are thousands of wondrous locations to be explored, hundreds of historical moments to discover, and the book also includes information on hundreds of people who helped make America what it is today.

A sampling of Inspiring People:
•        FLORENCE SABIN 1871–1953 A Central City native, the “First Lady of American Science” was a groundbreaking medical researcher. (Colorado)
•        LANA TURNER 1921–1995 Born in Wallace, this movie star was discovered by a Hollywood scout in a malt shop while playing hooky from high school. (Idaho)
•        TONY DITERLIZZI b.1969 This author and illustrator who co- created The Spiderwick Chronicles series now lives in Amherst. (Massachussetts)
•        NEIL PATRICK HARRIS b.1973 A Ruidoso native, this Tony Award winner’s first big hit was playing a teenage doctor on TV. (New Mexico)
•        MARIA TALLCHIEF 1925–2013 Born in Fairfax, this skilled dancer was the first Native American prima ballerina. (Oklahoma)

A sampling of Moments to Remember:
•        JULY 4, 1881: Booker T. Washington begins Tuskegee University in a one-room schoolhouse; 30 students are in the first class. (Alabama)
•        MAY 16, 1966: The popular band the Beach Boys release their album Pet Sounds, featuring unusual instruments such as bike bells and dog whistles. (California)
•        1610: English sea captain Samuel Argall sails into the bay and names it “Delaware” after the governor of Virginia, Lord De La Warr. (Delaware)
•        MAY 24, 1883: The Brooklyn Bridge opens and 21 elephants cross to test its strength! (New York)
•        JANUARY 3, 1987: Aretha Franklin, the “Queen of Soul,” one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, becomes the first female performer in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Tennessee)

The 50 States is a big, beautiful book kids can explore over and over again.  A winner!

The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!
Gabrielle Balkan
Illustrated by Sol Linero
HC 9781847807113 $30.00/$33.00 Canada
Wide Eyed Editions
October 1st, 2015

My Thoughts

This book is full of fun facts and history for each of the 50 states. A lot of time was put into the developments of this book. I really like how large it is. It's a good book to set on the floor and sprawl out on your stomach and look at with your kids.

My favorite part was learning about facts for each state. And in my home state of Georgia, I found it quite funny that in the city of Gainesville, a law passed in 1961 that said you couldn't eat chicken with a fork. Gainesville is big for their chicken plants. I lived there for a short while, and I must confess, I broke the law many times when I ate chicken with a fork.

On top of fun little facts like the one above, you also get a history lesson on the different states. As well as learning facts, such as the state birds, tree, etc. The kids really enjoyed looked in the back at all the different state flags and finding the similarity between some of the states, as well as some of the plain to colorful designs.

This is a really great book. One I think not only a child will enjoy but also an adult.


Gabrielle Balkan said...

I loved hearing your thoughts, you Gainseville-law-breaker, you! it brings me great joy to think of kids reading while sprawled on their tummies!

I especially enjoyed this bit: "The kids really enjoyed looked in the back at all the different state flags and finding the similarity between some of the states, as well as some of the plain to colorful designs."

We're working on a follow-up book on U.S. Cities...I'd love to hear if you or your young readers have any suggestions on what to tweak for the next book (you can be brutal!!!) and especially if you have any votes on which city and what places to include for Georgia! (or any other states you are familiar with!)

Happy reading!