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.
(Copyrighted sample spread provided by the publisher)
The “Key Facts” include
the cactus wren is the Arizona state bird,
the green-trunked palo verde is the Arizona state tree,
and 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,
the Petrified Forest, where 225-million-year-old trees here have turned to quartz over time, leaving crystallized logs,
and 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)
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.