From School Library Journal
Grade 1–4—The art in this loving tribute to the state is so colorful, evocative, and eye-filling that it is tempting to review the title solely as a book of pictures. The text takes the form of brief, undistinguished four-line verses that highlight some interesting features in the 14 locales, or give reasons for their historical or current importance. Some of the places are well known (such as San Francisco and Los Angeles) and some will be less familiar to children outside California (such as the Channel Islands and Eureka). The illustrations, done in brilliant acrylics, fill each spread with a burst of folkloric color and energy. The Capistrano swallows, the Forty-Niners in Coloma, the whales and otters along the coast—all are shown. The back matter includes an illustrated spread featuring the state flag, bird, insect, plant, and so on. Further information on all of the places shown is also appended. This book may not be adequate for reports, but it is a wonderful way to show children the spirit of California, and it could also be useful for families planning vacations.—Marian Drabkin, formerly at Richmond Public Library, CA
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About the Author
Pam Muñoz Ryan is a native of California. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at San Diego State University and she worked as a bilingual teacher and an early childhood administrator before dedicating herself full-time to writing. She wrote her first book at the age of 32 at the encouragement of a friend. She has written many picture books for young children and novels for older students. Pam lives in California with her husband and four children. She often speaks at schools and conferences about writing and literacy.