Written by Marion Dane Bauer
Illustrated by C. B. Canga
A new approach to state books in an easy-to-read format. Mr. Geo is a hip geography teacher who explores new places and takes his young readers along. In this volume, he is learning about California. He goes to destinations such as a studio where a television show is being filmed, the San Diego zoo, a Spanish mission, Disneyland, Los Angeles, the Santa Monica pier, Silicon Valley and San Francisco. He introduces readers to the diverse land forms such as Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the state, and the Mojave Desert with its dry Death Valley. He even takes readers through, literally, a redwood tree in the famed forest. He shows farm products grown in California and the wildlife that resides in the state. He even touches on issues facing modern-day Californians as well as some of the state’s colorful history.
For such a short format, many things are covered in the text, making this a good book for an introduction to research. Even though it lacks an index and a table of contents, the information is presented logically. Back matter includes Fast Facts, a timeline of dates in California history, a glossary and a literacy activities section. Mr. Geo is a fun and entertaining tour guide, making the book a possible class read aloud or a good book for a third-grade produced audio book. The illustrations capture a whimsical side of Mr. Geo, driving around in his red convertible, as well as capturing the wonder of California sights. There is a discussion guide at the publisher’s website: (http://www.scribd.com/doc/132313055/50-States-to-Celebrate-by-Marion-Dane-Bauer-Discussion-Guide).