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HELLO, MINNESOTA! by Constance Van Hoven


From the Hello, America! series

by Constance Van Hoven, illustrated by David Walker

Age Range: 2 - 4

Pub Date: June 7th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4027-7885-8
Publisher: Sterling

A tour guide for tots misses the developmental mark.

An unnamed solitary boy enthusiastically explores tourist destinations throughout Minnesota. Vast natural scenes highlight wildlife and convey the quiet beauty of the outdoor world. Though there are landmarks in and near Minneapolis, none of the choices capture the hustle and bustle of one of the Midwest's largest cities. Rural landscape and farmlands receive their due, but other notable attractions, such as the flagship Mall of America, are absent. Some places pay homage to the state's rich traditions, as when the child greets Paul Bunyan's statue with an enthusiastic “Hello, TALL Paul!” Speech bubbles provide the only dialogue, though they are often so generalized they convey little of the history and character of the region (“Hello, short piglet”). Locales are specifically labeled but will mean nothing to the traditional toddler audience. The companion Hello, Washington, D.C. follows the same faulty format.

This adventure in the Land of 10,000 Lakes is simply not worth the trip. (Board book. 2-4)