Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.As part of the "Explore the United States" series, significant aspects about America's fifty states are featured with patriotic formatting, key fact boxes, colorful photographs, and several basic resources. In every book elementary students are given a fundamental historical context about the United States by a simple regional map which has colored, labeled sections. Also, there is a double page timeline as a basis for study about individual states. A variety of detailed facts are provided in meaningful page spreads to enhance focused research. For instance, Maryland has a rich background as an original colony near the Chesapeake Bay. Situated next to Washington, D.C., the nation's capital, and bordered by four other states, major Civil War Battles took place near Frederick. The United States Naval Academy is located in the capital of Annapolis while Baltimore is the state's largest city founded as a vital port in 1729. Areas of interest presented in the series include culture, state facts, tourism, important cities, commerce, sports, topography, and war time. Thus, readers easily integrate all subjects and explore on their own or in groups. Important Words, Web Sites, and an Index complete each book for further guidance. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
Children's LiteraturePart of "The United States" series, Maryland is clear, concise, and perfect for early elementary school report writing. The state song ("Maryland My Maryland"), the state flower (black-eyed Susan), and the state bird (Baltimore Oriole) are all listed under "Maryland Fun Facts." Other chapters are titled: "A Snapshot of Maryland," "Where is Maryland?" "Cities and the Capital," and "Famous Citizens." The font is large and the sentence structure is appropriately elementary. Each chapter has large photos or diagrams that will pull in the early readers, adding cheerfulness to the fact-driven book. While there is nothing surprising about the book, Murray made some good choices about what to cover. In the section about geography, Murray focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and the Appalachian Mountains. While I might have liked another chapter describing the area in between, I do not know what I would have left out to accomplish that. Back matter includes a glossary, a web site pointerthat is, readers go to the ABDO website which has vetted the websites listedand an index. This book will make a good addition to the early nonfiction collection in school libraries. 2006, ABDO Publishing Company, Ages 6 to 8.
Amy S. Hansen
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