The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee #kidlit

Whether you are traveling, armchair traveling, or studying U.S. geography, The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee* by Alice Faye Duncan and illustrated by Mary Reaves Uhles is a rousing glimpse of the Volunteer State.

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Written by Tennessee native Alice Faye Duncan, this fact-filled picture book uses a new take on layered text. The primary layer is a modified version of the popular Twelve Days of Christmas song appropriate for younger readers, starting with:

“On the first day of Christmas,
my cousin gave to me,
a mockingbird in a tulip poplar tree. “

What makes it unique is that the secondary text is epistolary — in the form of letters written from areas around the state. What a great idea! It attracts older readers and encourages the lost art of letter writing all in one.

To make it perfect to accompany a geography lesson, there’s a map of Tennessee on the title page labeled with the specific places the letters are written.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Tennessee would be a fun book to read this month and revisit throughout the year.

Related Activity Suggestions:

1. Check out the free 9-page activity kit from Sterling (PDF download)

2. Read more children’s books about Tennessee from our list at Reading Through the States

Reading ages : 5 and up
Publisher : Sterling Children’s Books; Illustrated edition (September 4, 2018)
ISBN-10 : 145492859X
ISBN-13 : 978-1454928591

#Kidlit Explore New York Day & Night

Do you live in New York City? Planning a trip there? Then you will likely be interested in a newly-released picture book for the pre-K to kindergartner  set:  New York Day & Night by Aurelie Pollet and Vincent Bergier.

In the endpapers we meet Sandy the cat who helps us explore the dark, starting with a rocket-ship shape that stands out light against a dark blue and black night sky. Lifting the page, Frankie the squirrel welcomes us to New York in a daytime scene which reveals the rocket is actually the iconic Empire State Building. Note:  many of the buildings or locations are identified in the text, but some, like this one, are not.

Overall, the book reminds me a bit of Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, except that the scary night parts with monsters or villains are brief, ending with the turn of a page. Readers may feel alternating tension then relief in each set of spreads as they learn that sometimes things aren’t as they seem.

Ironically, both author Aurelie Pollet and illustrator Vincent Bergierare from Paris and this celebration of New York was originally published in France.

New York Day & Night will delight young readers familiar with the city and may inspire others to want to visit. Discover a copy today!

Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Publisher: Prestel Junior (March 19, 2019)
ISBN-10: 3791373781
ISBN-13: 978-3791373782

Want to read more books set in New York City?  Check our list at the Reading through the States website.

The book was provided courtesy of Media Masters Publicity.

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.

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

Travel the U.S. with Infographic Maps: Arizona Edition

Doing a unit on U.S. history or geography? Planning a trip across the U.S. with children? For several years, here at Wrapped in Foil we have had the Reading Across the States website with lists of children’s books from all 50 states. This week we are participating in a blog tour and featuring a fabulous new resource for learning about places, people, and history of the U.S., The 50 States: Explore the U.S.A with 50 fact-filled maps! by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Sol Linero.

Information graphics or infographics have become the newest way to present complex information visually. The 50 States is a collection of two-page spreads about each state in the U.S. featuring an infographic map, key facts (state capitals and symbols) and a timeline of “Moments to Remember,” as well as mini-bios of famous people born in that state. It serves up loads of information in colorful, bite-sized pieces.

Let’s explore the state of Arizona as an example. We have a fantastic number of unique things to see and do in Arizona.

50 States_Arizona(Copyrighted sample spread provided by the publisher)

The “Key Facts” include

cactus-wren-closerthe cactus wren is the Arizona state bird,

gorgeous palo verdethe green-trunked palo verde is the Arizona state tree,

saguaroand the iconic saguaro blossom is the state flower. Check ✅.

According to the icon on the map, a saguaro cactus can live for between 100 and 200 years and grow 40 feet tall. You can see numbers of these unusual cacti at the Saguaro National Park, which is actually split into two parks near Tucson, Arizona.

Other featured places to visit in Arizona include the Grand Canyon,

petrified-wood-669_IMGthe Petrified Forest, where 225-million-year-old trees here have turned to quartz over time, leaving crystallized logs,

PaintedDesert2004and the Painted Desert, which got its name from its multicolored rocks and soil. All are excellent choices ✅

If you are planning to visit the Roden Crater shown on the map, however, you might want to double check. As of 2015, it is only open to limited visitors for fundraising purposes. Meteor Crater or Sunset Crater are nearby family-friendly choices.

A few of the people with Arizona ties highlighted in the book include former Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor, movie legend Steven Spielberg, and astronaut Mark Kelly. Only the briefest of bios are included, but if children are interested, more information is only an internet search away.

In fact, children will probably spend hours exploring all the important people, intriguing facts, and interesting places shown in The 50 States. What a great way to get them excited about their home while at the same time giving them the urge to travel and explore new places!

If you have any questions about Arizona or this book, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Grade Level: 2 – 5
Hardcover: 112 pages
Publisher: Wide Eyed Editions (October 1, 2015)
ISBN-10: 1847807119
ISBN-13: 978-1847807113

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Disclosure: The Arizona section was provided electronically 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.