The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A. with 50 fact-filled maps!


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From School Library Journal

Gr 2–5—A colorful introduction to the 50 states. Each spread details a different state and includes an oversize map and some information. Similar in format to Lynne Cheney’s Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America (S. & S., 2006), Balkan’s book is more neatly rendered (states are in alphabetical order). Facts are laid out on the map and in a separate column. This volume offers the usual content, such as statehood date and order, state flower, and state bird, as well as fun trivia (Pennsylvania is the home of the first banana split). In addition, Balkan provides interesting historical and geographical tidbits not usually found elsewhere and spotlights famous people from each state. Especially nice is the way the author features prominent women and minorities. For instance, the spread on Georgia highlights Yamacraw Indian chief Tomochichi, author Flannery O’Connor, and singer Little Richard. The illustrations are colorful and childlike. Though bright and appealing, the portraits lack detail. Other works, such as Mark H. Brockenhauer’s Our Fifty States (National Geographic, 2004), examine the subject in more depth. Still, this is an above-average title on a popular topic, and state trivia enthusiasts will find it entertaining and useful. VERDICT The up-to-date material and the demand for offerings on the subject make this work a recommended purchase for public and school libraries.—Margaret Nunes, Gwinnett County Public Library, GA

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“Readers will enjoy browsing this oversized and colorful atlas of the United States….will offer hours of browsing pleasure.”

– Literacy Daily (International Literacy Association)

“Open the large formatted book and explore the United States. Each state (and the District of Columbia) is presented handsome, colorful, and highly informative maps to create a memorable journey.”

– Reading Rockets

“For Those Who Pride Themselves on Knowing Their State’s Flower/Bird/Motto. A large-format atlas of the U.S., The 50 States is chock-full of interesting facts, trivia and history.”

– Family Circle

“Author Gabrielle Balkan’s research and writing draws readers in with a fun mash-up of history, geography and pop culture, while Sol Linero’s illustrations make every spread a delight.”

– BookPage

“A stylish atlas that evokes the character and diversity of the country, equally suitable for coffee tables or family vacations.”

– Publishers Weekly

“A great read to share with your young one. Bright and colorful, you’ll enjoy it as much as they will!”

– Design Sponge

“A colorful introduction to the 50 states….an above-average title on a popular topic, and state trivia enthusiasts will find it entertaining and useful.” -“

– School Library Journal

“A big, beautiful educational journey across the U.S.”

– Pretty Prudent

“When I first laid eyes on The 50 States, written and researched by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Sol Linero, I absolutely had to have it because I think it’s easily the most delightful book on the topic that I’ve ever seen.”

– Inhabitots

“There are Tlingit nation canoes in Alaska, Walden Pond in Massachusetts, Harpers Ferry in West Virginia (but also the first pepperoni roll and first red-brick street; not all icons are serious business).”

– Kirkus Reviews

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