A west-to-east flyover of the 50 states, noting select cities, flora, fauna, natural wonders, and tourist destinations.
It is, at best, a banal overview. Beth’s commentary ranges from statements like “[Alabama] is shaped like a rectangle and includes many different types of land” (Tennessee likewise “has many different areas”) to a clumsily phrased—not to mention outrageously coded—observation that Massachusetts “is a modern state with a diverse population in Boston and rural towns in the western half of the state.” She also incorrectly claims that New York was once “New Netherlands” and—perhaps to avoid even using the word “climate”—defines “biome” as “a mixture of the weather, plants, and animals found in a place.” Along with a handful of cities and occasional rivers, Cramb scatters light assortments of small animals, items, or natural features over flat, monochromatic full-page or double-page–spread portraits of each state. Many of these are repetitive (the same moose poses in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire, for instance) or generic, and some, such as a bowl of cereal labeled “GM crops” in Minnesota and a harp representing “harp music” in Mississippi (“Home to the famous Mississippi River”), will add nothing to any reader’s understanding of anything. Younger armchair tourists and prospective road-trippers will find more reliably rewarding itineraries aplenty, led by Dan Yaccarino’s Go, Go America (2008) and Mark Teague’s LaRue Across America (2011).
A dismal flight, crashing and burning almost before it leaves the runway. (index) (Informational picture book. 6-8)