FICTION

Celebrating Florida

978-0-547-89699-1. ea vol: illus. by C. B. Canga. 40p. (50 States to Celebrate Series). chron. glossary. photos. Houghton Mifflin/Sandpiper. 2013. Tr $12.99; pap. $3.99.
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Gr 1–3—Mr. Geo, guide and teacher figure, takes children on a tour of these two states. Each page introduces a place, historical event, or topic, offering report-ready facts in a narrative format. Florida struggles to work material into the colorful and active pages, focusing mainly on Disney and the beach, which may be what beginning readers already know about the state. New York does a better job of integrating factual content into the text, much of it historical and about New York City, but even independent readers may struggle with some vocabulary. The illustrations and text layouts make these books appear easier than they really are. The vocabulary is fairly specific and advanced. The glossaries clarify some of the unusual words, but new readers may still be frustrated without further explanations of words and topics. As supplements to state-specific material, these books might pique interest in a state or point children to topics for further reading.—Leila Sterman, Chappaqua Library, NY

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