Students undertaking state reports will find most of the information they need, such as state history, people, and government, with a sprinkling of trivia. However, the book seems to overlook almost half the state—the eastern half—with most of the information focused on western Washington. Students will need to look elsewhere for good, clear explanations on the state's geology and climate, the two factors that so dramatically divide this state. The book includes only one map (more variety of and detail in maps would have been helpful), but strong photos and graphic elements help support the text. The author does a good job conveying difficult concepts and covering historical occurrences, such as the Japanese American internment camps in Washington state during World War II. Interestingly, there are several references to the Duwamish leader commonly known as Chief Seattle or Chief Sealth, but with the spelling "Chief Seathl." There's no explanation for the variant spelling or mention of the alternates, which could be problematic for students who try to do further research on this important leader. This book offers standard information in an easy-to-read format, and is part of the "It's My State!" series. 2003, Benchmark Books/Marshall Cavendish, Ages 7 to 11.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
Basic information about the state of Washington is presented in an accessible text with an attractive format. Topics required in most school reports about states are included. Brief descriptions of the state flower, bird, tree, gem, fish, and dance are followed by a discussion of geographic features including location, landscape, waterways, climate, wildlife, plants and animals. A chapter about the history of the state includes information about the earliest peoples, the first explorers, acquiring statehood, and times of war. A timeline on a separate page summarizes important dates. The cultural diversity of the state is highlighted in the chapter about the people and what they do. Famous people from Washington and tourist attractions are given individual sections. The capital city and the government, including how laws are made, are explained. Agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are major components of the economy. Insets throughout contain "Quick Facts," as well as "In Their Own Words" passages of quotes from famous people. The state flag, seal, and song appear near the end of the book. Photographs (both historical and current), maps, and charts offer aids in understanding. Includes a bibliography and an index. A good reference source for upper elementary school students, this is part of the "It's My State" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.