THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA

Imagine the states, Kansas, California, Ohio, and all the rest, as people with toothy grins, ping-pong balls for eyes, pipe cleaner limbs, and full-blown personalities. Imagine, then, that they get together at a party and decide to switch places on the map. In this amusing spoof, Kansas wakes up one morning saying, “I’m not feeling happy at all!” and starts the whole thing. Florida goes to Minnesota, California goes to Wisconsin, Nevada and Mississippi fall in love. Then the trouble starts: Alaska, who had missed company, feels claustrophobic among other states; Kansas finds his place in the middle of the ocean to be a bit too quiet; Minnesota, in Florida’s spot, forgets to pack suntan lotion; and so on. Soon the states are rushing back to their original spots with sighs of relief. Keller, in her first book pushes a silly idea, to great lengths, and will elicit laughs from all those who thought geography was boring. The states are colorful, boastful, belligerent, and charming, in collage illustrations that are full of spontaneous asides and intriguing labels. The states appear in a final gallery, with a few statistics to square off the whole funny enterprise. (Picture book. 8-10)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8050-5802-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1998

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JUDY MOODY SAVES THE WORLD!

McDonald’s irrepressible third-grader (Judy Moody Gets Famous, 2001, etc.) takes a few false steps before hitting full stride. This time, not only has her genius little brother Stink submitted a competing entry in the Crazy Strips Band-Aid design contest, but in the wake of her science teacher’s heads-up about rainforest destruction and endangered animals, she sees every member of her family using rainforest products. It’s all more than enough to put her in a Mood, which gets her in trouble at home for letting Stink’s pet toad, Toady, go free, and at school for surreptitiously collecting all the pencils (made from rainforest cedar) in class. And to top it off, Stink’s Crazy Strips entry wins a prize, while she gets . . . a certificate. Chronicled amusingly in Reynolds’s frequent ink-and-tea drawings, Judy goes from pillar to post—but she justifies the pencil caper convincingly enough to spark a bottle drive that nets her and her classmates not only a hundred seedling trees for Costa Rica, but the coveted school Giraffe Award (given to those who stick their necks out), along with T-shirts and ice cream coupons. Judy’s growing corps of fans will crow “Rare!” right along with her. (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2002

ISBN: 0-7636-1446-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2002

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WATCH OUT FOR SHARKS!

For shark fanciers, a look at a Los Angeles Natural History Museum exhibit, Sharks: Fact and Fantasy. Now touring the country, it includes models of large and small sharks, many of them swimming in simulated undersea settings. The text follows a group of young museum-goers as they examine shark teeth, fossil sharks, sharks in art, and a living shark embryo; shark anatomy, special adaptations, types of sharks, and some shark facts are also included. Photos are clear, colorful and engaging. Not comprehensive, but an attractive added purchase. Pronunciation guide; additional reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 23, 1991

ISBN: 0-395-57560-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1991

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