Leedy (Measuring Penny, 1998, etc.), so deft in making hard facts memorable and setting information into a context that makes sense to children, selects a hodge-podge of details and miscellany to convey a sense of what every state is about, as either a political entity or a place. Into lively, effulgent illustrations she plants a monotonous, forgettable list of items to distinguish every state: a map, the state flower and bird, a whiff of landscape, a glimpse of industry. There’s little about such a list—e.g., wheat, pronghorn, western meadowlark, prairie rose, Sitting Bull—to shout, in that example, “North Dakota” to children. The alphabetical listing—Alaska through Wyoming, four states a spread, with room for the US territories and Washington, D.C.—will help researchers, although it necessarily separates states that have natural geographic or historic connections, such as Vermont and New Hampshire, or West Virginia and Virginia, divided during the Civil War. Readers gain a good, first-line resource, with all the enthusiasm Leedy has made her trademark, but without much chance that they’ll adopt the excitement. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 1999

ISBN: 0-8234-1431-0

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1999

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