Heart of Texas: A Lone Star ABC

Overview

Welcome to Texas—home of cowboys, cattle, and NASA—where "Friendship" is the motto folks live by. Remember the Alamo, where a brave Army fought against Santa Anna; visit Big Bend National Park and try to spot a Bear; and go to the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to discover the women who Conquered the Old West. Celebrate Texas in this alphabetical tour from Laura Krauss Melmed and Frané Lessac, the bestselling duo who brought us Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York,...

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Overview

Welcome to Texas—home of cowboys, cattle, and NASA—where "Friendship" is the motto folks live by. Remember the Alamo, where a brave Army fought against Santa Anna; visit Big Bend National Park and try to spot a Bear; and go to the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame to discover the women who Conquered the Old West. Celebrate Texas in this alphabetical tour from Laura Krauss Melmed and Frané Lessac, the bestselling duo who brought us Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z.

With a treasure trove of facts and bright, bold art, this rootin'-tootin', rip-roarin' tribute to the Lone Star State will have readers shouting "Yee-haw!"

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
This alphabetic tour of Texas is chock full of fun facts and highlights of the state. It would be great fun to read for research or in preparation for a trip to the Lone Star State. The colorful paintings add to the whimsy and complement the text well. Unlike many alphabet books, the entries are not painfully stretched to fit the theme. There is much more in this book than its slim profile implies. As a resident of Texas, I was sure I could find some little error, and I thought I had found it when the author mentioned "bluebells" growing on a hill; however, a quick internet search revealed that there are indeed bluebells in Texas, and her later inclusion of the state flower, bluebonnets, convinced me the text was well researched. The mention of the rebirth after the 1900 storm in Galveston is a bit ironic, since the book was likely in press while Hurricane Ike swept over the island and once again devastated the downtown. A helpful map at the end indicates where all of the entries are located within the state. Reviewer: Dr. Judy Rowen
School Library Journal

Gr 1-4

As in the author's books about Washington, DC, and New York City, this alphabet-based tour does more than hit the highlights of historical sights and natural resources. Small paragraphs of information sure to please trivia lovers and history buffs are scattered across gouache painted scenes populated with recognizable landmarks and Texas residents, including the four-legged variety. Readers are given both necessary information about each location and the lesser-known bits suitable for guidebooks. Children learn that "the golden eagle's...wingspan is six to eight feet, at least twice the size of its body," Galveston's "Great Storm of 1900 was the fiercest hurricane ever to hit the United States, and that Austin's "capitol building...is the largest of any state capitol." The letter "D" is devoted to the Dallas Cowboys, including a chart listing their Super Bowl wins. The book is not suitable for sharing with large groups as the image details and small fonts require close scrutiny. A general purchase for many libraries, and an entertaining read for youngsters interested in the state.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX

Kirkus Reviews
Though the alphabetic conceit doesn't work as well for an entire state as it did for their tours of Washington, D.C. (2003), and New York City (2005), Melmed and Lessac gamely present a high-spots roundup of history, prehistory, places and annual events to give students and prospective visitors at least a taste of Texas. From "Alamo" to "Zilker Park," "Fiestas Patrias" to the "Juneteenth Festival," the author provides at each stop an introductory bit of doggerel and a handful of random facts-the latter scattered over broad landscapes or urban scenes painted in Lessac's characteristic primitive style. Totally unsystematic, seldom better than superficial and sometimes trivial or jejune (A is for Alamo: "Santa Anna was a good soldier but a cruel, hated commander"), this joins the three (at least) other Texas ABCs that are currently available in having little to offer beyond regional interest. A very simple keyed map is included. (Informational picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061142857
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/21/2009
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 6 - 11 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Krauss Melmed is author of Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z, also illustrated by Frané Lessac; I Love You As Much . . . , illustrated by Henri Sorensen; and the critically acclaimed The Rainbabies, illustrated by Jim LaMarche. She lives with her husband in Washington, D.C.

Frané Lessac is an American who has traveled all over the world. She now lives in Fremantle, Australia, but always looks forward to visiting Texas with her family. To bring the Lone Star State to life with gouache paints, Frané did extensive research using a video camera, a still camera, and actual and virtual tours. She is the illustrator of more than thirty books for children, including Capital! Washington D.C. from A to Z and New York, New York! The Big Apple from A to Z, both by Laura Krauss Melmed.

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