Book Review: Quilt of States

Reading Level

Ages 9-12

Also on This Subject

• U.S. States
• The Making of the 50 States

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Sometimes, a concept sounds good in theory but doesn't work so well on paper; other times, the reverse is true. This latest book from National Geographic is an example of the latter. It melds American history and sewing in an inventive way that translates into a visual treat that reinforces learning basic facts about the 50 states and how they came be part of the Union.

The quilts that the inspiration for all that unfolds in the book are done by the author herself, Adrienne Yorinks. An avid quilter and experienced children's books illustrator, Yorinks brings her considerable expertise in those areas to bear in this delightful depiction of the importance and significance of each of America's 50 States. The result is a feast for the eyes and the history teacher.

The formula is a simple one, really: Present a background illustration (in this case, a quilt) that helps to present an overall picture of the subject, which is described by the words on the page. In each and every of the 50 cases in this book, the words and illustrations complement each other very well.

The reader learns the date on which each state entered the Union and also the circumstances leading up that admittance. The quilts contain images that highlight the things that make each state is famous. An extremely welcome bonus in many instances is a map showing the capital of the state being described.

The words were written by Yorinks and by librarians from across the country, giving them extra validity and individual flavor.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this book, even moreso than the quilts, is the appendix. Titled State Facts, it delivers just that, naming the State Tree, State Flower, State Bird, State Nickname, and other facts about each and every state, including a Fun Fact and a State Claim to Fame. Amazing!

This is an inventive way to present familiar information and definitely worth a read, by readers of all ages. Pick it up!

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