Tuesday, August 5, 2008

United Tweets of America by Hudson Talbott - review

United Tweets of America by Hudson Talbott
Kids love this book. I mean, I love this book, I love the skilful, funny art, and the wisecracking birds, and the quirky choice of fun facts about each state, and I was amused and astonished to find that no fewer than SEVEN states have chosen the Northern Cardinal as their state bird, but who cares what I think? Every time I have this book out to read, some kid starts peering over my shoulder and giggling, and I end up just handing it over.

If I were reviewing this thing for School Library Journal, I would say "a first purchase for school and public libraries". There are plenty of fun state books out there - I'm about to review Dan Yaccarino's entry - but make sure you have room for this one on the shelf.

Bonus facts for Pink Me readers:
The roadrunner (New Mexico's state bird) does not say "beep-beep"
The state cookie of Massachusetts is the chocolate chip cookie
Green Bay, Wisconsin is the toilet paper capital of the world

Bonus for Baltimoreans:
Most of the illustrations in this book depict typical - but nonspecific - landscapes appropriate to the states represented: mountains for West Virginia, prairie for North Dakota. But the Baltimore Oriole, Maryland's state bird, is shown standing on a pitcher's mound with Baltimore Harbor behind him. At harbor's edge is a brick promenade identical to the one that rings Fort McHenry.

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