United Tweets of America: 50 State Birds Their Stories, Their Glories


A hilarious tribute to state birds!

Welcome to the United Tweets Pageant! This colorful parade of state birds competing to be Top Tweet will have readers of all ages laughing aloud. From Alabama's Yellowhammer to Wyoming's Western Meadowlark, each bird is a winner-and each bird loves to show off the state it calls home. Hudson Talbott has created an inspired introduction to states and their birds. His vibrant, detailed illustrations infuse the birds? interactions with energy and...

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A hilarious tribute to state birds!

Welcome to the United Tweets Pageant! This colorful parade of state birds competing to be Top Tweet will have readers of all ages laughing aloud. From Alabama's Yellowhammer to Wyoming's Western Meadowlark, each bird is a winner-and each bird loves to show off the state it calls home. Hudson Talbott has created an inspired introduction to states and their birds. His vibrant, detailed illustrations infuse the birds? interactions with energy and humor, making this a great way to spark kids? interest in United States history, geography, and, of course, wildlife!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

The impish conceit of this zany book is that America's 50 state birds are taking part in a "United Tweets" pageant emceed by a bald eagle ("And now we'll tell you a little something about each bird and the state they call home"). Talbott lists the nickname and state bird for each state, then supplies other information that is so random and delivered in such tongue-in-cheek fashion that fact may look like deliciously outrageous fiction. The Mississippi Mockingbird, for example, shown sporting an Elvis Presley haircut and jeweled cape, is said to be known as the "King of Song." Throughout, birds tease each other from across the pages ("You wanna piece o' me?" "Eat my tail feathers!"), and in the end they all fight over which will be named "Top Tweet." Short on ornithology and long on humor, this book is especially good at state trivia (for Minnesota, more than 10 popular items invented there, including Scotch tape and water skis; the state dance of South Carolina; etc.). Ages 6-8. (May)

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School Library Journal

Gr 2-5- Gather all of your chuckle-bellied trivia snatchers for a rollicking romp through the states. Talbott has created wisecrack-filled cartoons featuring birds in competition for the "United Tweets of America Pageant." Each avian contestant has one page to flaunt its stuff and introduce its state-unless you count the cardinal from Indiana that pecks through the back of his page to ruffle feathers in Illinois. The cartoons range from a scenic and graceful tree full of purple finches in a snowy village in Vermont to a manic pelican with a mouthful of loot in Louisiana. There's plenty to make children laugh: Annoyed by Delaware's Blue Hen Chicken on the facing page, Connecticut's American Robin sings, "Yankee Doodle went to town,/followed by a chicken,/if that bird won't shut his beak,/he's gonna get a lickin'." There's also plenty to amuse adults that may fly over children's heads: "Nevada produces the most gold of any state, but California already won the title of the Golden State, so Nevada settled for the silver. (The bronze went to Romania.)" Not to be confused with a reference book, this title does not provide the same type of information for each state. Each page dependably names the state bird and capital, shows a small shape map of the state, and gives its nickname. After that, it's a free-for-all. Ending with a fractured version of "America the Beautiful," it must be said, this book is a hoot.-Ellen Heath, Easton Area Public Library, Easton, PA

Kirkus Reviews
This rollicking roll call of state fast facts takes the form of a pageant of birds, each introducing their home state in ways that will delight trivia fans. Page by page, state by state, Talbott provides the capitol, the nickname and a varied assortment of other tidbits: notable residents and products, flowers, trees, songs and more. Illustrations add information. Knowledgeable readers will recognize a variety of iconic scenes and such details as a Denver Broncos helmet on Colorado's page. Clever byplay between birds on adjoining pages adds interest. Sometimes the humor gets in the way of the facts: One chickadee in Massachusetts is misshapen and sports a tongue, and in Maine most have their tell-tale black caps covered with yellow rain gear. Some jokes may go over the heads of intended readers, who may also have trouble distinguishing fact from fancy here. But where U.S. geography is part of the elementary-school curriculum, this lighthearted look at the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) will be welcome. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399245206
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 289,035
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Hudson Talbott

Hudson Talbott illustrated Show Way (by Jacqueline Woodson), a Newbery Honor book, and Leonardo's Horse (by Jean Fritz), which was an ALA Notable Book and a VOYA Honor Book. He lives in New York City and Leeds, New York, in the Hudson Valley.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The United Tweets of America

    Packed full of bright, engaging pictures and punchy, oddball humor, The United Tweets of America is a great off-the-wall introduction not only to America's state birds but any number of random state-related facts. Be prepared to answer questions on some of the more outlandish---and absurdly presented---details, though. (Is Arizona's state neckwear really the bolo tie? Yes. Did they really forget Alaska's state flower? No, but it is the forget-me-not.)

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  • Posted November 25, 2008

    WHAT A HOOT! Great for all ages!

    I am a school librarian for grades K-5, and many delightful books come my way, but this is really and truly a gem! It¿s creative, informational and absolutely hilarious!<BR/><BR/>How can a book about state birds be such a great source of entertainment? Hudson Talbott uses the premise of a bird beauty pageant (with our national bird, the bald eagle, as the emcee, of course) that carries us through a page of fun state tidbits and New Yorker-style cartoon illustrations for each individual bird. But it¿s the dialogue between the birds and their wisecracking side comments that make it so amusing: Arizona¿s Cactus Wren complains of being taunted by the Northern Mockingbird of Arkansas; the American Robin of Michigan rolls his eyes at Minnesota¿s Loon; and Maine¿s Black-Capped Chickadee speaks with a noticeable New England accent. Each bird has a distinct personality, replete with exaggerated facial expressions and droll comments. I laughed out loud all the way through the book. <BR/><BR/>This masterpiece should NOT be labeled for merely children ages 4-8. Its appeal is universal, for young and old alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

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