From Pie Town to Yum Yum: Weird and Wacky Place Names Across the United States


"Did you know that the United States has hundreds and hundreds of towns with weird and wacky names? This book will explore the reasons behind some of these really wacky place names, and also teach you a little bit about the states in which they are found.

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"Did you know that the United States has hundreds and hundreds of towns with weird and wacky names? This book will explore the reasons behind some of these really wacky place names, and also teach you a little bit about the states in which they are found.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ever heard of Witch Island, Maine, or Hot Coffee, Miss.? Readers are introduced to these surprising locations and many more in a quirky but educational guide. With a light touch and plenty of puns, Herman moves alphabetically through the states, exploring the origin of one town in each, while providing intriguing snippets of U.S. history. Though the explanations are often more pedestrian than the names—Disco, Ill., derives from the “discus-shaped valley” in which the town resides, and Home, Kans., was named after the post office—trivia hunters ought to enjoy the book’s irreverent spirit, echoed by Goldman’s energetic pen-and-ink cartoons. Ages 8–12. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Margaret Orto
Through humorous stories and whimsical cartoon drawings befitting the subject matter readers learn about the origins of some of the funnier and more unusual place names across the United States. Herman takes readers alphabetically through the fifty United States and the District of Columbia exploring places such as Embarrass, Wisconsin, Waterproof, Louisiana and Haiku, Hawaii. Each spread covers a state and features a place, describing the origins of its peculiar name. Other oddly named towns and cities in that state are also identified and a few of those are given short explanations for their names. Other subtopics include Info to Know, Lay of the Land and Road Trip that offer additional geographical information about that state. The humorous puns and funny asides about place names work well. While the illustrations are clever, they also tend to be busy and the visual jokes are not always successful. Overall, though, this is a fun, light geographical romp through the United States using place names as the hook. Reviewer: Margaret Orto
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—Herman has traveled across the country looking for place names that she finds to be unusual. She includes all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. There are explanations of how several of these towns got their names and a sketchily drawn map that shows the location of the state capital. A sidebar includes additional information, such as the date of statehood and places of interest to visit. However, these sights rarely appear on the map. Childlike pen-and-ink sketches are somewhat humorous, but don't really add much information. While some students may find the topic mildly interesting, this volume is an additional purchase.—Elaine Lesh Morgan, formerly at Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935279792
  • Publisher: Kane/Miller Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/15/2011
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 1,328,491
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.60 (w) x 8.66 (h) x 0.39 (d)

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