Reviews for Our 50 States : A Family Adventure Across America

Booklist Reviews 2006 November #2
In the third patriotic collaboration between Cheney and Preiss Glasser, the information density is impressively high. Then again, not every writer has a "cadre of staff assistants and interns" at her disposal, references to which suggest that Cheney may have managed this book more than authored it. However it came about, this almanac-like celebration of the 50 states is one libraries will want to have on hand. Sprightly line-and-watercolor artwork furthers the conceit that readers are charting a particular family's marathon state-by-state tour. The missives of siblings who jot (or text-message) trivia to pals at home combine with a slew of additional historical, cultural, and geographical tidbits, all of which will prove gold for state studies projects, despite pages that occasionally seem dizzyingly cluttered. A useful gatefold map shows the bigger picture to children, who will enjoy looking up their home state and planning visits to other destinations highlighted--which include, unsurprisingly, the Wyoming birthplace of "the husband of the author" and D.C.'s vice-presidential residence. ((Reviewed November 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
A fictional family's road trip is the frame for this guide to state facts, people, and places. Beginning with a foldout map, the book uses single- or double-pages spreads to introduce each state and the District of Columbia. Lively ink, wash, and colored-pencil drawings clutter each page, making any sort of linear navigation impossible, but the captionlike text provides interesting tidbits. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2006 October #4

The creators of America: A Patriotic Primer and A Is for Abigail have compiled their most encompassing paean to the U.S. yet, here bypassing an alphabetical roundup in favor of a cross-country road trip. An opening gatefold previews for readers the route that five affable family members will take as they set off from their Massachusetts home. They traverse the other 47 contiguous states (and Washington, D.C.) before making final stops in Alaska and Hawaii. The creatively cluttered pages collect words and images that present a pleasing potpourri of past and present: Glasser depicts the touring family viewing landmarks and natural wonders alongside portraits of influential individuals who hail or hailed from each state. The children's snippets of communications to those back home convey welcome personal observations: the boy text-messages a friend; and the girl pens notes to her grandmother (e.g., "Dear Grandma, I want to live in Hershey, PAâ€"the air smells like chocolate, and even the streelights are shaped like Hershey's kisses!"). Glasser utilizes every spare inch of space, including decorative borders that accommodate memorable quotations, song lyrics and historical data. Young armchair explorers will savor this spirited, whistle-stop celebration of America. All ages. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2007 January

Gr 2-5 The beauty and diversity of America are celebrated as three children, their parents, and their dog travel across the country in high spirits. Starting in Massachusetts, the family finds interesting details: Dr. Seuss National Memorial, the first post office, and famous people like Deborah Sampson and Herman Melville. The pages are alive with many small pictures, text, and maps. Some captions are hand lettered, and watercolor-and-ink drawings are numerous and appealing. Design elements for each state pull the book together: a "photograph" of the family enjoying a site, the background map, borders reflecting a dominant feature of the state. Readers will search for the children to read their messages: Annie writes letters to Grandma; Ben stays in touch with Grandpa, and with his friend Alex by text messaging: "alex. I'm watching a guy make shoes in the 19th century. kidding! it's at old sturbridge village. ben." Some states enjoy a spread, but most fit comfortably on one page. A foldout map shows the route the family followed, and Cheney introduces the book enthusiastically: "Perhaps none of us will ever be lucky enough to take such a grand road trip…but surely we are fortunate to live in a country where all these things-and so many more-form the fabric of our national life." There are just enough visual details and fascinating facts to keep children absorbed for hours. Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI

[Page 114]. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.