Reviews for United Tweets of America

Booklist Reviews 2008 April #1
In this sly, comic, and irreverent book, loaded with hilarious puns and parodies about our 50 state birds, words and images deliver bits of history, folklore, and geography about each state. Young grade-schoolers probably won't understand all the humor (the illustration of Iowa's American goldfinch shows two of the birds dressed up like the folks in Grant Wood's American Gothic; Washington state's goldfinch is said to sound like "dot-com-dot-com-dot-com"). But many will enjoy the images of the Baltimore oriole in a baseball cap throwing a crab cake in Maryland, the American robin riding a Harley-Davidson in Wisconsin, and the mockingbird of Mississippi resembling Elvis with a mike. Talbott's colored pencil and mixed-media illustrations ably combine the cartoon uproar with a sense of the individuality of the feathered creatures--as with the shy hermit thrush of Vermont singing musical notes that fill the sky. Clever, refreshing, and fun for individual reading and wonderful for classroom teachers. Copyright 2008 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2008 Fall
This book is structured around a beauty pageant featuring state birds. Each one struts its stuff on a page that also includes the state's capital and nickname, along with various other facts such as state flower, insect, mammal, and song. Though the competition's fierce, the pageant ends in unity. The book features lighthearted visual humor as well as wordplay throughout. Copyright 2008 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 April #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 May #3

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)

[Page 53]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2008 May

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

[Page 118]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.