Children's LiteratureEasy-to-read text covers major state, or in this case commonwealth, 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 (a national forest, an observatory, and Old San Juan). 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 the commonwealth and its features. 2003 (orig. 2000), Capstone Press, Ages 7 to 11.
Susan Hepler, Ph.D.