50 Adventures in the 50 States

Quarto/Wide Eyed Editions. Oct. 2020. 112p. Tr $30. ISBN 9780711254459.
Gr 4-6–Siber highlights activities native to each of the 50 states. The topics discussed include the fall colors of Vermont, the Badlands of North Dakota, the downtown Chicago, IL, ice rink in winter, the bird population of New York City, scuba diving off the coast of North Carolina, and digging for salt crystals at the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. The entries are engaging, but this is the type of volume that can easily lead young readers to assume that the spotlighted activity is the main feature of each state. Each two-page chapter showcases Hill’s vibrant illustrations. Some animals resemble caricatures. Text boxes provide a general overview and history of the location and attraction. Other relevant information is scattered across the spread. Some readers will struggle with the haphazard arrangement of the text. Pronunciations and definitions are missing. There is an index, but no glossary. Some statements are contradictory. For instance, a question in the Kansas section asks, “Did you know that prairies grow in places that are too dry for forests and too wet for deserts?” At the bottom of the page, the text reads, “Jackrabbits, cottontails, rodents, lizards, and deer all live on the prairie. In forested areas near streams, foxes and bobcats prowl.”
VERDICT This title might be useful for supplying a unique fact for state reports, but it is not a comprehensive resource.

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