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

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

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by Hudson Talbott
     
 

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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

Overview

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!

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Hoots for UNITED TWEETS OF AMERICA!

From USA Today:
Part geography lesson, part introduction ornithology, United Tweets is all fun. It imagines a feathered pageant matching the 50 state birds, from Alabama's wood-pecking yellowhammer to Wyoming's western meadowlark, the most popular of all state birds. (It's also claimed by Oregon, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas.) Hudson Talbott's whimsical drawings are mixed with facts: Hawaii's nee is the rarest state bird. The Rhode Island red, a purebed chicken, has its own monument, erected by a "grateful and well-fed public." And New Mexico's greater roadrunner has been clocked at more than 18 mph but does not say "beep-beep".

"Gather all of your chuckle-bellied trivia snatchers for a rollicking romp through the states..[T]his book is a hoot!"—School Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Deliciously outrageous"—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

"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. 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."—Kirkus 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)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399245206
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Pages:
64
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 10.60(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
AD940L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
Hoots for UNITED TWEETS OF AMERICA!

From USA Today:
Part geography lesson, part introduction ornithology, United Tweets is all fun. It imagines a feathered pageant matching the 50 state birds, from Alabama's wood-pecking yellowhammer to Wyoming's western meadowlark, the most popular of all state birds. (It's also claimed by Oregon, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Kansas.) Hudson Talbott's whimsical drawings are mixed with facts: Hawaii's nee is the rarest state bird. The Rhode Island red, a purebed chicken, has its own monument, erected by a "grateful and well-fed public." And New Mexico's greater roadrunner has been clocked at more than 18 mph but does not say "beep-beep".

"Gather all of your chuckle-bellied trivia snatchers for a rollicking romp through the states..[T]his book is a hoot!"—School Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Deliciously outrageous"—Publisher's Weekly (Starred Review)

"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. 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."—Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

"Travel is one of my greatest joys- whether its by land, sea, air - or cyberspace. Last year, for example, I found myself in Amsterdam, Holland, at the Institute of War Documentation, the place where they keep the few records that the Nazis didn't burn. I needed to go there for research on my newest book, Forging Freedom. From there I flew to Wales for a conference about King Arthur and the Holy Grail, research for my King Arthur series. It was great fun to be with a group of Arthurian scholars, in Arthur's homeland. From there I crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin, where I directed a wonderful cast of Irish actors in a taped dramatization of my book O'Sullivan Stew.

My latest journey took me to Kenya, in east Africa, to visit Dr. Jan Grootenhuis, a wildlife expert I had met in India last year. When he invited me to work on a book together with him about the wildlife of Africa how could I say no? I sent email reports back to several schools in the States when we were on safari. It was wild to be sharing my safari experiences as they were happening! In fact, I think the thing I love most about travel is sharing it with others- through a book, a recording, an email report, or a website."

Hudson Talbott was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of four children. From the time he could pick up a pencil, he has been interested in drawing and creative expression, and he considers himself extremely fortunate to have had family and teachers who encouraged his talents.

After graduating from the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Hudson remained in Europe, first staying in Italy, and then living for two years in Amsterdam. He then worked in Hong Kong and traveled throughout southeast Asia for a year before moving to New York, where he has lived and worked since 1974. In his ten years as a freelance illustrator, his work was commissioned by such clients as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bloomingdale's, and New York Magazine. Hudson's first book for young readers, called How to Show Grown-ups the Museum, was commissioned by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1985. Since then he has written and illustrated more than twelve books for the child in all of us. Hudson's interest in other cultures and his genuine appreciation for all types of people have contributed enormously to the development of his work as both artist and story-teller.

Hudson Talbott is the author/illustrator of more than twelve books for young readers, including We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, which was adapted into an animated film by Steven Spielberg.

Hudson also collaborated with Stephen Sondeim on a illustrated book version of the composer's musical Into The Woods. His illustration and design work have been used by The Metropolitan Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. He has also developed two animated television series commissioned by Universal Studios.

Hudson frequently travels for his book projects. For his ongoing series of The Tales of King Arthur he traveled throughout England and Wales researching the subject. For Amazon Diary he went into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest by dugout canoe and stayed in the villages of the remote stone-age indigenous tribe known as the Yanomami.

For his latest book, O'Sullivan Stew, he wandered through Ireland, absorbing the culture. In Dublin he directed a splendid cast of Irish actors for an audiotape version of the book.

Hudson lives in New York City and ,on weekends, in a farmhouse near the town of Hudson, N.Y.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.
"Travel is one of my greatest joys- whether its by land, sea, air - or cyberspace. Last year, for example, I found myself in Amsterdam, Holland, at the Institute of War Documentation, the place where they keep the few records that the Nazis didn't burn. I needed to go there for research on my newest book, Forging Freedom. From there I flew to Wales for a conference about King Arthur and the Holy Grail, research for my King Arthur series. It was great fun to be with a group of Arthurian scholars, in Arthur's homeland. From there I crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin, where I directed a wonderful cast of Irish actors in a taped dramatization of my book O'Sullivan Stew.

My latest journey took me to Kenya, in east Africa, to visit Dr. Jan Grootenhuis, a wildlife expert I had met in India last year. When he invited me to work on a book together with him about the wildlife of Africa how could I say no? I sent email reports back to several schools in the States when we were on safari. It was wild to be sharing my safari experiences as they were happening! In fact, I think the thing I love most about travel is sharing it with others- through a book, a recording, an email report, or a website."

Hudson Talbott was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, the youngest of four children. From the time he could pick up a pencil, he has been interested in drawing and creative expression, and he considers himself extremely fortunate to have had family and teachers who encouraged his talents.

After graduating from the Tyler School of Art in Rome, Hudson remained in Europe, first staying in Italy, and then living for two years in Amsterdam. He then worked in Hong Kong and traveled throughout southeast Asia for a year before moving to New York, where he has lived and worked since 1974. In his ten years as a freelance illustrator, his work was commissioned by such clients as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bloomingdale's, and New York Magazine. Hudson's first book for young readers, called How to Show Grown-ups the Museum, was commissioned by New York's Museum of Modern Art in 1985. Since then he has written and illustrated more than twelve books for the child in all of us. Hudson's interest in other cultures and his genuine appreciation for all types of people have contributed enormously to the development of his work as both artist and story-teller.

Hudson Talbott is the author/illustrator of more than twelve books for young readers, including We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, which was adapted into an animated film by Steven Spielberg.

Hudson also collaborated with Stephen Sondeim on a illustrated book version of the composer's musical Into The Woods. His illustration and design work have been used by The Metropolitan Museum and The Museum of Modern Art, among others. He has also developed two animated television series commissioned by Universal Studios.

Hudson frequently travels for his book projects. For his ongoing series of The Tales of King Arthur he traveled throughout England and Wales researching the subject. For Amazon Diary he went into the heart of the Amazon Rainforest by dugout canoe and stayed in the villages of the remote stone-age indigenous tribe known as the Yanomami.

For his latest book, O'Sullivan Stew, he wandered through Ireland, absorbing the culture. In Dublin he directed a splendid cast of Irish actors for an audiotape version of the book.

Hudson lives in New York City and ,on weekends, in a farmhouse near the town of Hudson, N.Y.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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The United Tweets of America: 50 State BirdsTheir Stories, Their Glories 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Bookwormer14 More than 1 year ago
This is the most darling book for all ages and both genders. Could be used for teachers to aid children learning about the states. Each state is covered as far as state bird, state flower, capital, famous people, etc. with the funniest illustrations. Some of the humor would be more appreciated by adults, but something for everyone. I bought several as gifts for people, and I leave out as a coffee table book in my sunroom for people to browse through. I sat and read it from cover to cover. Amazing what pieces of trivia you will learn and retain.
slimikin More than 1 year ago
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.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Librarian_Book-Lover More than 1 year ago
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!

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.

This masterpiece should NOT be labeled for merely children ages 4-8. Its appeal is universal, for young and old alike.