Children's LiteratureEasy-to-read text covers major state symbols such as the state flag, seal, bird, tree, flower, animal, and more. A "Fast Facts" section highlights the state's capital city, largest city, physical size, population, natural resources, farm products, and primary manufactured goods. Generally, a map or photo faces a right hand page of information written in short paragraphs. Photos are current and simple, featuring the animal, flower, or famous building, with a modest caption. The series has been updated to reflect new census data but otherwise duplicates the earlier editions. A concluding page features three "Places to Visit," to give readers a sense of what features or sites the state is proud of or known for (Atlantic City Boardwalk, a state aquarium, and Edison's home and laboratory). In the end matter, other factual nonfiction books are recommended, a glossary rounds up five or six specialized words, an omnibus website managed by the publisher gives access to further facts, and a very short index is included. The series encourages report writers to locate information quickly and the layout makes comparisons among states easy. This book is a good beginning resource for highlighting a state and its features. 2003 (orig. 2000), Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 11.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.