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L Is for Last Frontier: An Alaska Alphabet (Discover America State by State) Hardcover – March 13, 2002
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About the Author
Carol Crane has written 14 books for Sleeping Bear Press, including the best-selling P is for Pilgrim: A Thanksgiving Alphabet. As a children's literature advocate, Carol travels across the country, speaking at schools and many conferences. She makes her home in North Carolina.
Award-winning wildlife artist Michael Glenn Monroe began his career at a very young age. A self-taught painter, Michael spends his time meticulously honing his craft, often teaching himself many new and unique techniques to add to his paintings. Michael began his publishing career with Sleeping Bear Press in 1999 when both Buzzy the Bumblebee and M is for Mitten: A Michigan Alphabet were released. His knowledge and experience with landscapes and wildlife were a perfect match for Mitten, as well as subsequent state alphabet titles (S is for Sunshine: A Florida Alphabet and L is for Last Frontier: An Alaska Alphabet). Michael and his wife, Colleen, share a home in Brighton, Michigan, with their three children, twins Matthew and Natalie and John, born in May 2001.
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The book is set up for two age groups: little ones, 4-8, with a little verse and beautiful illustrations that demonstrate the verse; and older children, 9-12, with the sidebars for more information pertaining to each letter and topic.
"A is for Alaska Natives
remembering their ancestor's way.
Fishing, trapping, hunting, and whaling,
living on a great land today."
The double page spread shows two Natives, standing on ice floes, catching fish with spears. The side bars tell us that they have creation stories, what they make their canoes, spears, clothing out of. We learn about their artistic style, totem poles, spiritual symbols, and celebrations.
Alaska is home to all three bears that live in the United States: brown/grizzly, black, and polar. Cranberries grow wild in Alaska!! That was a shocker!! The Alaska flag was created through a contest won by a 13-year-old Native American boy.
Alaska has glaciers, King Salmon which can find their way to exactly the place they were born to lay/fertilize eggs and die, that Northern Lights are a "shimmering night time show," and that Ptarmigan (birds) can dive into the snow and be warm, cozy, and safe from enemies. Even though the tundra is full of life, it is a frozen terrain in the winter and considered a "cold desert."
Another shocker is the size of vegetables that grow during growing season. The Yukon River was a source of gold for gold diggers back in the day. Juneau, the state capital, can be reached only by airplane or boat! No roads lead to Juneau.
The book concludes with a quiz and short bibliography.
"L is for Last Frontier: An Alaskan Alphabet" is a must-have book if you are interested in an alphabet of facts about the state. Or find the book which addresses your state. This series is a winner--or 26 winners!