Children's LiteratureIt can be difficult to find an engaging reference book, but World Almanac has succeeded in creating a series that will educate and entertain readers. The books are entirely in Spanish and contain sidebars and graphics that hold interest throughout more academic descriptions of state history and economy. For example, Ball and Behrens explain the invention of the potato chip in Saratoga, New York only a page before delving into the history and development of New York from Native American territory to modern state. The history is well-explained and accompanied by graphics of primary documents such as a front-page from the colonial "New York Weekly Journal," which piques reader interest in history as a study of people and the things they did. In a similar vein, the authors include a list, along with brief biographies, of famous New Yorkers such as Theodore Roosevelt, Keith Haring, and Langston Hughes. The section on New York culture focuses primarily on the countryside and agricultural festivals upstate, instead of the bustling arts of New York City. However, the authors do initially characterize the state as divided between a huge swath of pastoral life, and the concentrated megalopolis of eight million inhabitants. Other features of the World Almanac states series include a timeline comparing state history to national history, a discussion of state geography and climate, and a description of state government. This book is most useful for Spanish speakers, as the content may be too basic for high-school students learning Spanish as a foreign language. 2004, World Almanac Library, Ages 8 to 12.