This book is needed, and although it is not ideal, it will fill a real niche. It is gauged for the vocabulary and interest level of the third and fourth grader, who is studying California history. Occasionally, the author talks down to her audience, occasionally she repeats herself. But on the whole, she tells the robust story of California's early and checkered career, smoothly and with enough of anecdote and human interest to carry the somewhat complex pattern. The text is illustrated with maps, drawings by the author, and reproductions of old engravings, photographs and paintings. Good library and school library material. Emphasis on long Colonial period.