Review of “The United States in 100 Words”, by Nancy Dickmann and illustrated by Paul Boston

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The United States in 100 Words, authored by Nancy Dickmann and illustrated by Paul Boston, is a enjoyable children’s book which is so engrossing, they will learn about nature, industry, history, government, culture, American values, and the mathematical concept of 100, before they realize it. Icons at the top of each page show which category or categories that topic draws from (besides math, which permeates every page).

The concept of the book is based on 100. One hundred words were chosen to represent America, words like Plains, Canyon, Vegas, Prohibition, Woodstock, Volunteer, and Rosa (Parks). Each of these 100 words has its own page, and that word is described in – you guessed it – one hundred words. The descriptions are therefore concise and not overwhelming.  Each of the main 100 words has its own large illustration.

Dickmann herself acknowledges that the words she chose to represent our country are a reflection of who she is and her personal experiences, although she did try to reach outside of that realm, as well as into the future and back at history to get a list that would represent all Americans.

Resources in the back of the book include a Timeline, a map of the United States with all 50 states labeled, a short glossary, a short index, and a list of references where more information can be found.

 Much can be learned from this book. If you have a child who loves to soak up facts, this is a sponge waiting to be squeezed out in a delightful way.

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