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


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.


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

Arizona Way Out West & Witty

Are you interested in children’s books about states or that have strong settings? I have a list of children’s books by setting at the Reading Through the States.

It’s Arizona’s centennial year, and to celebrate let’s take a look at two books about Arizona’s history that are sure to excite children:  Arizona Way Out West & Witty: Awesome Activities, Humorous History, and Fun Facts! by Lynda Exley and Conrad J. Storad, illustrated by Michael Hagelberg and Arizona Way Out West & Wacky: Awesome Activities, Humorous History and Fun Facts! by the same team.

Conrad Storad is well-known here in Arizona for his children’s picture books with Southwest themes, as well as science topics. Lynda Exley’s son, Michael J. Moorehead, is also known in Arizona because he is already a published author, at 12! (He wrote The Student From Zombie Island: Conquering the Rumor Monster).

In case you are wondering why there are two titles in the series, Arizona Way Out West & Witty is presented as a library edition. It is in chapter book format and is not consumable, and it comes with a curriculum guide in the back.

On the other hand, Arizona Way Out West & Wacky is an activity book that covers the same material, but in an interactive, consumable way. It has word searches, crossword puzzles, and coloring pages, as well as other fun activities.

I thought that was an interesting way to solve an age old dilemma. How do you market consumable books to libraries and schools, yet keep the activities fun and interactive for children? It seems that having two formats might be one answer. Now I wonder how sales of the two books compare, and whether having such similar titles is resulting in any confusion. I do know that  Arizona Way Out West & Witty was chosen as the 2012 ONEBOOKAZ for Kids winner.

Are you interested in other books about Arizona? I have a list of fiction books set in Arizona and nonfiction books about Arizona at the Reading Through the States.

Arizona Way Out West & Witty: Awesome Activities, Humorous History, and Fun Facts!

Paperback: 118 pages
Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc.; Library Edition edition (January 17, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589850920
ISBN-13: 978-1589850927

Arizona Way Out West & Wacky: Awesome Activities, Humorous History and Fun Facts

Paperback: 112 pages
Publisher: Five Star Publications, Inc.; 1st edition (October 29, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589850475
ISBN-13: 978-1589850477

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s round-up is at Simply Science.