Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Train of States

The Train of States

Peter Sis
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
HarperCollins, 2007   ISBN: 978-0060578381

A train is rolling past and each car tells us a story, the story of one of the fifty states that make up the United States of America. Each train car gives us a picture of the state that it represents, its history, its state flower and bird, its state flag, and interesting information about that state. Did you know, for example, that in Iowa a six hundred pound cow has been created from butter every year since 1960 for the state fair? Did you know in Barrow, Alaska the sun doesn't set for eighty-four days during the summer months? These and many more fascinating, bizarre, funny, and downright peculiar facts fill the pages of this book.

This title is not only interesting, but it is also very beautiful. Each of Peter Sis' train cars is a work of art reflecting the character and unique nature of the state that it represents. Thus, the car representing Rhode Island, the "Ocean State," is decorated with fish and maritime motifs. Kentucky, famous for its horses and its bluegrass, is covered with grass and the heads of horses. Each car is covered with intricate details that will provide the reader with many happy minutes of exploration.