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Picture Book Thursday: United States of America

Scrambled_3 The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
Written and illustrated by Laurie Keller
Henry Holt
Age Range 4-9 years

Lady Lady Liberty: A Biography
Written by Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Candlewick Press
Age Range 7-12 years

Ballots Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Illustrated by Courtney A. Martin
Abrams
Age Range 4-8 years

Hi folks.  Despite the fact that I awoke to snow flurries, I am doing my best to bring you great book picks for Picture Book Thursday.  And while a number of you are hoping my theme is the aforementioned snow, I hate to disappoint but we’re going with more of a patriotic tone.  Don’t worry, we’ll do snow when I’m more in the mood and I’ve become less bitter about having to pack away the shorts and T shirts.

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show
Laurie Keller is back with this humorous follow-up to The Scrambled States of America. With Georgia suffering from stage fright, readers are treated to various states displaying their talents.  Be sure to check out the quirky endpapers that feature Vermont trying to learn state abbreviations.  This sample will probably have you thinking of Abbott and Costello performing Who’s on First?

Hi Hawaii.  What’s your abbreviation?
HI. 
Yeah, hello.  What’s your abbreviation?
HI.

Lady Liberty: A Biography
This book is chock full of mini biographies of the people for whom Lady Liberty was important.  Did you know Mr. Pulitzer led a campaign to fund her pedestal?  The bios are followed by Liberty’s dimensions, important events, selected sources and books.  As if that’s not enough, Matt Tavares’ gorgeous illustrations make this book a must-have.  His careful use of color and various view points dovetail beautifully with the text.  His illustrations are poster-worthy, and one page is in fact a fold-out illustration.

Ballots for Belva: The True Story of a Woman’s Race for the Presidency
This fascinating title reminds me of Kathleen Krull’s A Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull. (She is in fact later referenced in the book.)  Not only did Belva Lockwood race for the presidency, she was initially denied her law degree for being a woman!  She went on to become the first woman to practice law in federal courts and the first to argue a case before the Supreme Courts of the United States.  While she didn’t win her bid for President, she did win a number of votes and helped to further equal rights for women.

Activity
Mix blue and green Play-Doh to match the color of the Statue of Liberty.  Give students a chance to mold it into their own statue before letting it dry out and attaching it to a wooden block to serve as a pedestal.

Ok folks, I’m off to thaw out before the Round-Up tomorrow.  See you then and try to stay warm.

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