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The Scrambled States of America Hardcover – October 15, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 5
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 36 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR); 1st edition (October 15, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805058028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805058024
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,887 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

One day, Kansas wakes up grumpy. The other 49 states are stretching, yawning, and pouring maple syrup onto each other's pancakes, but irritable Kansas announces to his kindly neighbor Nebraska that life is dull and changes must be made: "All day long we just sit here in the middle of the country. We never GO anywhere. We never DO anything, and we NEVER meet any NEW states!" Nebraska, sick of hearing North Dakota and South Dakota bicker all the time, agrees to help organize a party for all the states. It's a hit! Late into the evening, Idaho and Virginia get up onto the stage and suggest that all the states change places. What a state of affairs. Minnesota, who switches places with Florida, gets a sunburn. Kansas, having traded places with Hawaii, gets lonely and sings some soggy blues so sad that a shark sheds a mournful tear offshore. Nevada and Mississippi fall in love. Despite the initial excitement, the new arrangement just doesn't feel right. The states manage to swim, fly, bike, and hitchhike their way home, and everyone goes to bed in the right place--even Kansas is happy to be home after such an adventure. This wacky, thoroughly engaging tale of mixed-up geography is a good bet for some awards. Perhaps best of all, the large format and riot of detail allow for plenty of amusing asides. Books that claim to "make geography fun" usually have to be taken with a dose of skepticism: so often, the teaching is there and the entertainment isn't. This delightfully quirky and original book shows how it should be done. (Ages 4 and older) --Richard Farr

From Publishers Weekly

It's hard to imagine a more engaging (or comical) way to learn the 50 states and their locations than in this auspicious debut from Keller. Dorothy may have thought there's no place like home when she clicked her red ruby slippers, but her native state's wanderlust starts all the trouble here. Kansas is bored ("All day long we just sit here in the middle of the country. We never GO anywhere. we never DO anything") and drafts best friend Nebraska into the cause of stirring things up. Soon they're throwing a potluck party for all the states (the spread includes "Iowa Corn Surprise" and "Boston Baked Beans") and everyone delights in the idea of seeing another part of the country. Keller bestows a unique personality onto each of the states, yet keeps them true to their national identity. Kansas gets to take exotic Hawaii's place ("Aloha, world!"), Wisconsin packs up its famous cheese, Nevada and Mississippi fall in love ("Do you want to become MRS.issippi?" Nevada asks), and in a subtle lesson, Maryland places the Washington Monument and Capitol building carefully in a suitcase ("Are you o.k. in there Mr. President?"). Keller cleverly illustrates the chaos that ensues when the states cross country (e.g., the displaced Great Lakes ask, "Um... where did Michigan go?"). Soon the gang get homesick for their native lands, and New York hails a taxi home, California flies west in a plane, while a hitchhiking Connecticut cops a ride with Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine. Readers will unwittingly learn more than they bargained for about the (finally) United States, while poring over the endless witty remarks exchanged over state lines. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Laurie Keller is a children's book author and illustrator of 8 books including The Scrambled States of America, Arnie the Doughnut and Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners which was Amazon.com's #1 Editors' Pick on their Best Books of 2007 List. Her latest book is the first in an early chapter book series, The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Bowling Alley Bandit. When Laurie isn't busy making books or traveling, she enjoys spending time outdoors at her Michigan home, hiking in the woods, playing banjo, cross-country skiing or splashing in Lake Michigan. You can find out more about Laurie at her website, www.lauriekeller.com (see attached diagram to learn how to draw Arnie the Doughnut!).

Customer Reviews

My 4 & 9 year old sons both enjoy it.
Rebecca J. Rivera
It is a great story, funny, and engaging all while they learn about the States.
C. Keenan
It is a great and fun way for kids to learn their US geography.
SunnyDi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

130 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Volkert Volkersz on March 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As our students read their way across America by earning miles, I decided to read "The Scrambled States of America" to every class in our school from grades 1-6. There is not a class that hasn't enjoyed this hilarious book.
It's been interesting for me as the librarian to see how the different ages respond to the text and pictures. The first class that heard it, fifth grade, had just completed their state reports, and they were in tune with the book from beginning to end, adding all kinds of information they had recently learned. It was a wonderful discussion.
My favorite illustration in this book is where "states all over the country were waking up, having their first cups of coffee, reading the morning paper, and enjoying the beautiful sunrise." When I ask the students to look closely, they first laugh at silly things like Florida shaving, but then they notice that our state, Washington, is still asleep. Pretty quickly, the kids pick up on the time zones, and we end up talking about the time differences in our country.
Our kids get mockingly upset that Washington hasn't arrived to the big all-state party, because they are convinced we'd either bring apples or water (from all our rain)!
The students' favorite page is when they get to see the states all scrambled up. They love searching for our state, and other states they've studied or visited!
This is an entertaining book, one that I never would have predicted to be a hit with all grades. I took a gamble, and I was pleasantly surprised. They love it, and they learn something about geography while they're at it!
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By MyParenTime.com VINE VOICE on November 5, 1999
Format: Hardcover
It isn't often you come across a children's book that's unique in it's story, fun in it's presentation, and a delight to read. Laurie Keller accomplishes this with "The Scrambled States of America". The unique idea of each state having it's own personality and voicing it's opinions on his place in the country, is both comical and creative. This book brings together colorful illustrations and a geography lesson, which will have children learning the names & shapes of the states after reading the book for just the first time! MyParenTime.com highly recommends this book as a source of knowledge, imagination, & fun.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By "rrr338" on May 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Imagine the map of the United States. Each state different, representing unique landscapes, people, and landmarks. We so often get such images that stamp each state as having its own "personality." Now here comes Laurie Keller, looking at that map, and thinking "Gee, wouldn't it be fun if these states could free themselves from being anchored in place? Wouldn't it be interesting if they could visit one another and get to interact?" What an absurd idea! What a PERFECT idea for a kid's book!
This is one of those children's books that can truly claim a unique niche. Keller enhances the zaniness with vivid, personality-exuding illustrtions. So many kid's books today try too hard to hook adult interests, forgetting the unbridled imaginative capacities of young ones. Not this one. Keller knows that kids LOVE silliness, and she delivers. Oh yes, there's appeal here for adults, too -- providing they realize that they are just "big" kids. A little bit of education too. What more can you ask for? This is most assuredly worth finding its way into your... ahem... "kid's collection."
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This book is a verbal and visual feast for children and adults alike. The entire family can't wait to read this book each night and pick out our favorite scenes. We are amazed how quickly our 4 year old son has learned the names of the states and in what general direction they belong. A sure fire hit!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "kellienealon" on July 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 4-year-old daughter & it was soon her favorite book! The book does a great job making the states come alive, with lots of silly pictures of the states interacting with each other (i.e., Colorado referring to Idaho as "Mr. Potato-Head.") Kids learn where the states are & what is unique about the states while giggling over their escapades. My daughter learned all 50 states very quickly. She took the book to daycare, and the other kids could not get enough of it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Davis on August 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
As a teacher, I'm always attracted to books that make learning fun, and this is one of the best! It's zany, off-the-wall and filled with oh, so many hilarious side comments made by the states who come alive. Younger tots love the colorful and silly illustrations, while older kids appreciate geography facts told in a most unique fashion. Check out the game inspired by the book - my own kids beg to play it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 31, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Scrambled States of America
By Laurie Keller
Reviewed by Jason P. (age 8)
"There's no place like home". That's what all 50 states learned in this hilarious, slightly romantic tale.
It all starts when Kansas (who was very angry) decides to invite all the states to a "states party" to meet new states.
At the party, Nevada and Mississippi fell in love. Later, Virginia and Idaho suggested that all the states switched places. All the states agreed to this, so they all changed places through the day.
Will our fair country stay like this? Find out in The Scrambled States of America!

I liked this book because (like I told you) it was hilarious! I really liked the part when all the states went home.
I recommend this book to kids who: 1) like fiction, 2) can read picture books.
Read this book to find out the funniest U.S. story ever!
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