Children's LiteratureThis slim volume is part of the World Almanac "Library of the States," a series of fifty-two books covering all the states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Well-illustrated, it serves best as a standard reference book, cataloging Virginia's colorful history, varied geography, and the organization of her economic and political life. There are many specialized maps, charts, lists, and graphics, as well as sidebars covering all sorts of interesting historical data. The chapters devoted to demographics are interesting if somewhat eclectic in their choices, but the section devoted to the cultural life of the state is misleading in its simplicity. The most eccentric chapter in the entire volume, however, is that dealing with the profiles of nine historically notable Virginians, which include Warren Beatty along with Booker T. Washington and George Mason. It is difficult to determine why any child would need this book if a fairly comprehensive encyclopedia article on Virginia is readily available. Perhaps the greatest advantages would be this volume's additional illustrations and its easy portability. 2002, World Almanac Library,
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 4-7-Each of these well-done titles briefly outlines the state's history, politics, government, culture, etc., and includes numerous colorful sidebars, charts, graphs, maps, and photographs that illustrate or supplement the texts. An introductory "Almanac" lists state emblems and provides an assortment of facts. A time line presents state events on the top of a spread and national events on the bottom. Brief biographical sketches of notable native sons and daughters are included, and each book has a list of state events and attractions, and sources of further information, including official state Web sites. The coverage is more complete than in the "Hello U.S.A." series (Lerner). However, on the landform map in Massachusetts, Minuteman National Historic Park appears to encompass the whole north central region of the state and Cape Cod National Seashore sits in the Atlantic Ocean. (And it is no longer accurate to say that the New England Patriots have never won a Super Bowl.) Still, this title is to be preferred over Joan Leotta's Massachusetts (Children's, 2001), which contains a number of annoying factual errors. The "From Sea to Shining Sea" series (Children's) has long been a staple, but most libraries will want to consider adding these books.-Elaine Fort Weischedel, Franklin Public Library, MA Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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