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The Scrambled States of America (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Scrambled States of America (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

4.3 14
by Laurie Keller

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Those wacky scrambled states are at it again. This time they’ve come together for a spectacular show featuring their many goofball talents. But just when the director, Indiana, is about to call SHOWTIME!, Georgia gets a bad case of stage fright and can’t perform in her juggling act. Will the show go on, or will it be curtains for Georgia and the Jolly


Those wacky scrambled states are at it again. This time they’ve come together for a spectacular show featuring their many goofball talents. But just when the director, Indiana, is about to call SHOWTIME!, Georgia gets a bad case of stage fright and can’t perform in her juggling act. Will the show go on, or will it be curtains for Georgia and the Jolly Jugglers?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"Keller endows each of the 50 states with a unique personality and, as all of them develop a case of wanderlust, she presents geography lessons as clever quips exchanged across state lines," said PW in our Best Books citation. Ages 4-9. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It's hard to imagine a more engaging (or comical) way to learn the 50 states and their locations than in this auspicious debut from Keller. Dorothy may have thought there's no place like home when she clicked her red ruby slippers, but her native state's wanderlust starts all the trouble here. Kansas is bored ("All day long we just sit here in the middle of the country. We never GO anywhere. we never DO anything") and drafts best friend Nebraska into the cause of stirring things up. Soon they're throwing a potluck party for all the states (the spread includes "Iowa Corn Surprise" and "Boston Baked Beans") and everyone delights in the idea of seeing another part of the country. Keller bestows a unique personality onto each of the states, yet keeps them true to their national identity. Kansas gets to take exotic Hawaii's place ("Aloha, world!"), Wisconsin packs up its famous cheese, Nevada and Mississippi fall in love ("Do you want to become MRS.issippi?" Nevada asks), and in a subtle lesson, Maryland places the Washington Monument and Capitol building carefully in a suitcase ("Are you o.k. in there Mr. President?"). Keller cleverly illustrates the chaos that ensues when the states cross country (e.g., the displaced Great Lakes ask, "Um... where did Michigan go?"). Soon the gang get homesick for their native lands, and New York hails a taxi home, California flies west in a plane, while a hitchhiking Connecticut cops a ride with Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine. Readers will unwittingly learn more than they bargained for about the (finally) United States, while poring over the endless witty remarks exchanged over state lines. (PW best book of 1998)
Children's Literature - Melinda Medley Sprinkle
The fifty states of America are bored with their normal positions on the map. They are depressed because they never get to go anywhere or see anything except their neighboring states. Uncle Sam tells this whimsical story as the states devise a plan that will change everything, including their location. The states throw the first annual states party, and everyone is invited. The big event soon arrives and all the states mingle and get to know each other. Virginia and Idaho create a plan to switch places, and before the affair is over, all the states decide to swap spots. They are finally going to venture forth to other parts of the country, but there is always a price to pay for happiness. At first, everyone is pleased with their new locations, but then each state begins to realize that nothing is the way they thought it was going to be. Florida was too cold up north, Kansas was surrounded by water, and nature seemed to place a damper on every state. There was only one alternative. You guessed it! They must return to their correct spot on the map. This unusual story introduces children to all of the 50 states in a humorous and comical way. Each page is packed full of state and geography facts. It also is a lovely read-aloud for children who are just learning to identify the 50 states of the USA. A full-color map and state fact pages are also included.
Children's Literature - Carrie Hane Hung
It may seem crazy and wild but the states of America are having a talent show. If you have already read and enjoyed The Scrambled States of America, you may also love this sequel with its multiple plots, antics, and jokes. For the show, some of the states work as the stage crew while other states provide the talent. For instance, Pennsylvannia plays the Liberty Bell, Michigan does a ventriloquist act, and Wyoming and Tennessee impersonate Oklahoma. While practicing her juggling act with California, Idaho, and Massachusetts, Georgia cannot seem to keep the fruits up in the air. She has a case of stage fright. What will she do? Is there a cure? Catch the act to find out what happens. Bright illustrations, interesting information, and side jokes are located throughout the book. The end-pages feature the statehood dates and abbreviations along with Vermont in comical spots asking different states their abbreviations. There is even humor to be found on the cataloging-in-publication page. For those who are familiar with the romance between Nevada and Mississippi, it continues in this sequel. Reviewer: Carrie Hane Hung
Children's Literature - Victoria Ryles
This is a companion book to The Scrambled States of America, both written by the youthful Laurie Keller. The states are transformed into zany and lovable characters with little stick hands and legs and funny expressions on their faces. They react with excitement when New York wakes up from a dream one night and suggests they have a talent show, all except Georgia who has stage fright. Dr. Globe recommends Georgia try picturing the audience in their underwear to help her deal with her stage fright. Crazy antics and clever quips ensue and Georgia survives, thanks to a surprise ending. Besides having fun with the hilarious illustrations, youngsters will be exposed to geography in a positive manner—becoming familiar with the shapes, relative sizes and names of the states as well as concepts of counties and cities. The back and front covers provide statehood dates and state abbreviations. Hopefully readers will enjoy this amusing geography experience and will become curious to learn more about the states. It's a thought anyway! Reviewer: Victoria Ryles
School Library Journal

K-Gr 4

New York wakes up in the middle of the night and shouts, "Hey, everyone-let's have a talent show!" The other states jump right in to prepare and perform their acts. Illustrations and layouts are similar to those in The Scrambled States of America Holt, 1998), with cartoon characters shaped like state maps dancing and prancing on stick legs and wisecracking all over the pages. There's plenty to giggle at: Texas trying to skate under Missouri's Gateway Arch, Pennsylvania playing a "peppy tune" on the Liberty Bell, and California checking in with his agent. Because there are 50 characters, the action can become confusing. It's easy enough to figure out that the "New States on the Block" boy band is made up of states that begin with the word "new," but not as clear why North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia, and Louisiana are members of the Montanettes, a singing group with Vegas-style feathers. There are references to the previous book, so it's helpful to remember that Mississippi and Nevada have fallen in love. Where it is popular, this one will also have fans. It is clever, lightly educational, and hip, but with a slightly weaker premise, it is just a bit more...scrambled.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

Sean Kelly
Kids, it's harmless fun to imagine changing things, but when you come right down to it, everything is perfect just the way it is. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
Ten years after their memorable debut the states once again pop open their wide eyes, leap up on pipestem limbs and strut their stuff-this time on stage in a display of talent that ranges from the heartthrob singing of New York and New Mexico as "New States On The Block" to Michigan using its Upper Peninsula in a ventriloquist act and Wyoming linking with Tennessee to impersonate Oklahoma. Rendering her performers with flashbulb intensity and reasonably accurate borders, Keller sends them gamboling with abandon across spreads strewn with hilarious side comments (Idaho: "Does this grass skirt make my BUTTE look big?"), as well as abbreviations and statehood dates. Closing with a bit of traditional stagecraft by having shy Georgia visualize fellow states in their underwear to get over a case of stage fright, this exuberant geographical jamboree will definitely leave readers in a state. (Picture book. 6-8)

Product Details

Demco Media
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Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
(w) x (h) x 0.25(d)
AD510L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

LAURIE KELLER is the popular author and illustrator of Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners; Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard; Arnie, the Doughnut; Open Wide: Tooth School Inside; and The Scrambled States of America. Her newest book, Birdys Smile Book, will be available in Fall 2010 from Henry Holt. She lives in North Muskegon, Michigan.

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Scrambled States of America 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Having just returned from a cross-country trip from Pennsylvania to Montana, the kids were super excited to help me review THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA. The package comes with both a paperback copy of the story as well as an unabridged reading of the book. The CD has a read-along section with chimes to indicate when to turn the page, and also an uninterrupted version of the story. No matter which option you choose, be it reading the book, just listening to the story, or a combination of both, everyone will come away amused, entertained, and yes, I'll admit, a little bit educated. The story is told with different voices to take on the personalities of the States. Kansas, being landlocked in the middle of the country, is bored. With the assistance of its neighbor, Nebraska, the two states decide to throw a party and invite all the other States. The party is a brilliant success, and Idaho and Virginia suggest that all of the States change places. Well, they all agree and soon, Florida is where Minnesota used to be and complaining of the cold. And Minnesota winds up with sunburn, having moved to the south. Arizona doesn't like being on the Atlantic Ocean because it messes up her hair. And poor Alaska, used to being alone, is being crowded by both Oklahoma and Michigan. Poor Kansas, having complained about being in the middle of the country, is now all alone out where Hawaii used to be. Things are worse rather than better. A very fun and at times silly story, the narrators bring life to all the States and their interactions. If following with the book, there are many side illustrations that the narrators also share. The story goes quickly and is one that can be listened to over and over again. In reading the book, the vibrant colors and illustrations are eye-catching and informative. Plus, my 9-year-old son tried to trick me up when testing me on the states and their capitals that are added at the back of the book.
morgangirl74 More than 1 year ago
Excellent book for teaching children about the states.  We give every state a different voice and make up other silly things for the states to do.  Also recommend the game for older elementary age.  My 9 yo loves it. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fortheloveofliteracy More than 1 year ago
When I read this book for the first time, I was so stricken by the creativity of the author to come up with the main idea for this books story line. Not only is it a great story, it can help kids learn about the 50 states and where they are located. The DVD of the story read by Chevy Chase is wonderful as well. If you have a child that is having difficulty learning the states and where they are located, this book may be what helps them memorize the information.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story and illustrations of the states interacting with one another is great. My daughter loved this book when she was beginning elementary school to help her learn the individual states in a fun way; I recently bought a coy for my nephew.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son was 4 when we got this book and puzzle and it jump started an obsession with states and capitals. He learned them all really quickly and continued to want more books about states. 'Scrambled States' gives all the states a personality, making them much more real and interesting to young children. Highly recommended!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my 6 year old and not only does he love it but my 3 year old does too. Both are able to identify alot of states. My 3 year old brings the book to me to read when his brother is at school. We also have the game and love that too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my 4 yo to help explain what a 'state' was and what the 'United States' was and, boy, does it fulfill ALL my expectations! It's educational but, more importantly, it's fun to for both the audience AND the reader. My goal wasn't to teach him to recognize the states by their outlines but just by reading the book he knows close to 20. We also love the Great States Jr game.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We borrowed this book from the library and my 3 year old loved it. We've borrowed it so many times that we are finally just buying a copy. He has even learned some of the states and their nicknames!! This book is entertaining for kids of all ages!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
We bought the book for our 7 year old niece but our 2.5 yr old daughter picked it up and it has become her favorite book. SHe is now 4 and loves geography ... we read the book almost every night.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a wonderful book for children. The illustrations are unique and fun. This would be an excellent book to use in an introductory lesson about the United States. Also, in the back of the book is an illustration of every state and a couple of facts about that state.