50 Cities of the USA @QuartoKids #Kidlit: Exploring Tucson and A Giveaway

 50 Cities of the U.S.A.: Explore America’s Cities with 50 Fact-Filled Maps (The 50 States) by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Sol Linero is a fun children’s book coming out in a few weeks. Let’s celebrate by exploring one of the featured cities, Tucson, and having a chance to win a copy of the book in a giveaway (see details at bottom of post).

This book gives information-packed tours of fifty prominent cities throughout the United States, including Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Birmingham, Boise, Boston, Burlington, Charleston, Charlotte, Cheyenne, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Detroit, Hartford, Honolulu, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Nashville, New Orleans, New York, Newark, Newport, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland MA, Portland OR, Rapid City, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, St. Louis, Tucson, Virginia Beach, and Washington, D.C.

Each city is presented in huge two-page spread (the book is an extra-large 11 inch x 13.4 inch format). Let’s take a look at Tucson as an example of how it works.

For each spread, the location of the city is given on a map in the upper right hand corner. Interesting historical information, places to see, and famous citizens of that city are scattered over the pages. If that wasn’t enough, the illustrator has included fun visual searches to some spreads, plus the author gives recommendations for children’s books set in each city.

Selected Fun Facts from 50 Cities about Tucson:

There’s a lot to see and do in Tucson. (Note:  The photographs are from my personal collection. The book does not contain photographs.)

• AGUA CALIENTE PARK Here, the cactus wren rests in the hole of a cactus, its nest protected by the prickly spines of a cholla or leaves of a yucca.


• DAVIS MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE  More than 5,000 B-52s, helicopters, and other aircraft are stored at The World’s Largest Boneyard (aka airport graveyard). (Our family also likes to visit the Pima Air and Space Museum, shown in the photograph above.)

• THE DESERT MUSEUM  cares for 230 native species, like the venomous gila monster, whose skull is covered in tiny smooth bumps. (These javelinas are some of the featured native animals found there.)

• THE EL CHARRO CAFE The chimichanga was invented here—by accident! Ingredients include rice, cheese, and machaca (dried meat), and avocado.

• THE SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK  This tree-like cactus grows additional arms as they age, sometime growing more than 25.

• THE TUCSON MUSEUM OF ART Make your own Day of the Dead-inspired art pieces at the annual Día de los Muertos celebration, which remembers relatives who have passed away.

• THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA  A collection of elegant mathematical models once used to teach concepts now live on as art. (The University of Arizona also hosts the Tucson Book Festival in March. It a fabulous place to introduce children to books.)

• TUCSON INTERNATIONAL MARIACHIS CONFERENCE In 2010, 555 mariachis broke a guinness world record when they played in honor of mariachi legend Nati Cano.

• VALLEY OF THE MOON  A former postal clerk created this landscape of winding paths, stone towers, and hidden grottoes to spark the imagination.

We also enjoy the Tucson Botanical Gardens and Tohono Chul Park, especially in early spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

As you can see from the examples, 50 Cities is a great book to have on hand if you’re planning a trip, moving to a new place, or studying the geography and history of the United States. It’s the kind of reference book kids will return to again and again.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (September 7, 2017)
ISBN-10: 1847808700
ISBN-13: 978-1847808707

Giveaway

The giveaway is now closed.

Would you like a chance to receive a copy of 50 Cities? Simply login the Rafflecopter below — making sure you leave a valid e-mail address — by 12:00 a.m. EST August 24, 2017. Rafflecopter will randomly pick the winner and I will notify @QuartoKids (they have kindly agreed to ship the prize.) Their only request is that the giveaway is open only to US residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have any difficulty with the Rafflecopter form, please let me know in the comments

Want to find more children’s books with strong settings? Try our Reading Through The States website.

Disclosure: This book was supplied by the publisher for review purposes. Also, I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at no extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

nonfictionmonday

Looking for more children’s nonfiction books? Try the Nonfiction Monday blog.

Ninja Mouse: Haiku

Quietly, stealthily Ninja Mouse: Haiku, written and illustrated by J. C. Thomas, creeps into your heart.

It isn’t easy to know what to expect when you see the cover of this book. The fierce mouse in the ninja garb and the comic book/graphic novel illustrations might lead the potential reader to believe this will be an action-packed story full of conflict and violence. Instead it is an almost silent journey of discovery, beautifully delivered entirely in haiku.

The illustrations in this book are inspiring. There’s something about dignity of the mouse, set against nature scenes, the dark versus light, and the splashes of color that are mesmerizing. Each two-page spread consists of the left-hand page divided into thirds, with the haiku text spread throughout. The right-hand page is a full scene with the Japanese text down the right side.

The book trailer gives a taste.

Author J.C. Thomas has a degree in International Relations and East Asia studies and he is currently an elementary school teacher. He is also a sixth-degree black belt in Taekwondo. This combination assures that the book is authentic, detailed, and useful for the classroom. There is a note about haiku in the back that explains how it differs in Japanese.

Ninja Mouse:  Haiku would be perfect for poetry month and to accompany a unit on haiku, especially for reluctant readers who might be drawn in by ninjas and comics. It would also be a wonderful accompaniment for a unit on Japan and East Asia studies.

Suggested related activity:

This book is so inspiring, it begs to be accompanied by an activity for children to create haiku and then illustrate it. For example, Scholastic has a haiku lesson plan. The Exploring Nature Educational Resource has a number of drawing lessons, like this one for a grasshopper.  Please feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments, if you choose.

Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: SuperUltraGo! Press (October 16, 2014)
Language: English and Japanese
ISBN-10: 099132403X
ISBN-13: 978-0991324033

Disclosures:  This book was supplied by the author for review purposes. I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Latino/a Kid Lit Challenge: What Can You Do with a Paleta?

For the 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge:

2014-reading-challengeSummer is around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with a book and an ice cold paleta?

What Can You Do with a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Magaly Morales is a playful tribute to the fruit-flavored icy treats so popular with Mexican-American children.

What Can You Do with a Paleta?

Probably the best way to get the “flavor” of the book is to listen to the marvelous Carmen Tafolla read it.

 

Things to love:

  • The over-sized paper paleta prop the author uses when reading the book. Too cute!
  • All the Spanish words incorporated in English text:  tortillas, fruta, paleta, sarape, barrio, Tio, senora
  •  The yummy acrylic illustrations in warm colors to complement the “cool” topic.

It is obvious that What Can You Do with a Paleta? is as much delicious fun as the treat itself. Help yourself to a copy today!

paletas-ps

Paletas are easy to make because all you need is some fruit, ice pop molds, a blender and a freezer. These watermelon paletas are some of our family favorites, made of seedless watermelon chunks, 1/3 cup orange juice, and a few Tablespoons of sugar (the sugar gives the pops a smoother texture, but may be omitted). Puree all the ingredients in the blender and pour into the paleta molds. Freeze for about four hours.

Looking for more paleta recipes? Visit our paleta Pinterest board for icy goodness!

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 2
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tricycle Press (April 14, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1582462216
ISBN-13: 978-1582462219

Look for 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge books on the third Wednesday of each month. Interested in multicultural children’s books? Follow the our Multicultural Children’s Books pinterest board.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.

 

Latino/a Kid Lit Challenge: Iguanas in the Snow/Iguanas en la nieve

For the April 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge,

2014-reading-challenge

and to honor National Poetry Month, we have the Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series by poet Francisco X. Alarcón and illustrated by Maya Christina Gonzalez.

Starting the year is the Pura Belpre Honor Award book Laughing Tomatoes: And Other Spring Poems / Jitomates Risuenos: Y Otros Poemas de Primavera. As with the other books in the series, poems in the book have both an English version and a Spanish version. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been to get the ideas and sounds/rhythm down pat in two languages? In the downloadable Teacher’s Guide (link at bottom) at Lee & Low books, Alarcón explains that some of the poems came first in Spanish, some in English and some he wrote in both languages at the same time.

Next, in From the Bellybutton of the Moon: And Other Summer Poems / Del Ombligo de la Luna: Y Otros Poemas de Verano Alarcón takes a slightly different track than the first book by revisiting a trip to Mexico that occurred during his childhood.

The third in the series, Angels Ride Bikes: And Other Fall Poems / Los Angeles Andan en Bicicleta: Y Otros Poemas de Otoño (The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series), explores the city of Los Angeles and activities families do there.

Winding up the year is Iguanas in the Snow/Iguanas en la nieve: And Other Winter Poems/Y otros poemas de invierno. In this book Alarcón moves to northern California. The Spanish poems are generally presented first except for the title poem, “Iguanas in the Snow.” In this intriguing poem, children experience snow for the first time. Their mother laughs, saying that their green cold-weather clothing makes them look like iguanas.

The books in this series would be useful for poetry units, as well as for learning languages.

Related:

The downloadable Teacher’s Guide (link at bottom)

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Series: The Magical Cycle of the Seasons Series
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books Inc; First Trade Paper Edition edition (March 10, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0892392029
ISBN-13: 978-0892392025

Look for 2014 Latin@s in Kid Lit Reading Challenge books on the third Wednesday of each month.

Interested in multicultural children’s books? Follow the our pinterest board.

Disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon so I can provide you with cover images and links to more information about books and products. As you probably are aware, if you click through the highlighted title link and purchase a product, I will receive a very small commission, at not extra cost to you. Any proceeds help defray the costs of hosting and maintaining this website.