State of Quarries by Elysabeth Eldering

JGDS_State_of_Quarries_cover_rock_fontThe Junior Geography Detective Squad returns in State of Quarries, the second book in this continuing series of the fifty states by Elysabeth Eldering.

Matt is busy in his room studying when his younger sister Mary Beth strolls in begging to play the game Matt received as a gift from his mother. Like the typical older brother he says, “no”; but Mary Beth soon convinces him that a round would be fun. And like the last time when they played with Matt’s friend Guy, they place a bet. This time, the loser has to perform the other person’s most hated chore.

Clue by clue pops up on the screen, each clue getting easier as they advance. Who will uncover the identity of the state in this round first? And who will be left doing double chores?

I eagerly awaited the release of the second book in the Junior Geography Detective Squad series. Book 1, State of Wilderness introduced us to Matt Peterson, his mother, his best friend Guy and his younger sister Mary Beth, and led the kids along on an adventure that made learning fun.

With Guy only being mentioned in the second book, but not present to participate in the game, State of Quarries depends upon the healthy competitive side of sibling rivalry to move the story along, as each sibling hopes to uncover the answer first and not be stuck with the other person’s most hated chore.

As I mentioned when I reviewed State of Wilderness, Eldering really taps into what it is like to be a young person, so Matt and Mary Beth are realistic characters. They bicker, they tease, and they each want to win.

Aidana WillowRaven returns to illustrate the second book, providing cover art and interior illustrations that help depict the clues and the handheld game. The rustic look of many of these illustrations subtly symbolizes the many years of history that the reader is uncovering as she picks up clue after clue and learns United States geography.

Once the game is over and the state’s identity has been revealed, there is a section that provides more facts about the state and a series of discussion questions. This book is perfect not only for your child, but is also an excellent classroom resource. Teacher’s Guides are also available.

Learning doesn’t get any more fun than this!

Rating:    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: 4RV Publishing LLC
  • ISBN-10: 097975139X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979751394
  • SRP:  $14.99
  • Tony and the Pizza Champions by Tony Gemignani

    Tony & the Pizza ChampionsFor some high-flying, twirling pizza action, your young reader should dig into Tony and the Pizza Champions by Tony Gemignani.

    Tossing Tony is invited to a pizza tossing competition in Italy. So, Tony and his friend Quick Ken set off on a trip across the United States in their Pizzamobile to put together their team of pizza-tossing acrobats who must come up with a great routine if they are going to have a chance at winning.

    With tons of talent and a heavy dash of teamwork, Tossing Tony and friends might just bring home the prize.

    Tony and the Pizza Champions is as exciting as it is funny. Based upon and co-authored by the real Tossing Tony, this large hardcover book is filled with remarkable, and often hilarious, illustrations from Mathew Trueman.

    Memories of 1960’s campy superhero shows ran through my mind as Tony announced, “To the Pizzamobile!” And the kids truly enjoyed this book from beginning to end.

    As Tony and Ken travel from Ohio to South Carolina and then on to New York City–“home of the first pizzeria in the United States”–young readers get treated to interesting pizza facts from coast to coast; a learning experience that is recreated worldwide as Tony and his team travel to Italy for the competition and readers are treated to pizza facts from England, Argentina, and many other places along the way.

    One of the best aspects of Tony and the Pizza Champions is that it makes competition fun. The team is obviously having a great time as they practice their routine and perform it in front of the judges. This is an excellent message for young children and it is delivered with such subtlety that the reader won’t even notice.

    Also included are photos of the real World Pizza Champions who children met in the story, a recipe for Tossing Tony’s Pizza Dough, instructions on how to toss pizza dough, and a recipe for The Big Cheeze Pizza.

    Considering that pizza is often a staple for children, this inside peek into the world of pizza making will leave its audience hungry for more.

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811861627
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811861625
  • SRP:  $16.99