'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Review: The 50 States

I waited a long time for this book--first spying it around five months ago. Finally, finally, it's in my clutches--mwah ha ha!

And it's every bit as happy-making as I thought it would be.

Inviting the reader to explore the USA with 50 fun-filled facts, the illustrations and design of this book are heart-thumping. A high-page book of 112, its large format embossed cover and gold leafing are an author and illustrator's dream, proving Wide Eyed Editions to be a leader in production and design.

Packed with a stunning array of information, this is a true work of art, from the extensive research that would have been undertaken, to the tiny little details, so pleasingly arranged on each page.

Each of the 50 US States are arranged alphabetically across double-page-spreads, with a map, key facts, an introduction or 'welcome' to each state, and myriad pull boxes and snippets that draw the eye around breathlessly. The author has also included 'moments to remember' and what I love about Balkan's inclusions is that she's chosen what resonates with her--making for an eclectic and fascinating collection of facts, figures, reminiscences, and travel ideas for my permanent itinerary.

Sol Linero's amazing illustrations are a colour-lover's dream. Her adorable, modern illustrations are scattered like confetti across the pages, and while there is much to look at, the scatter is done in a divinely ordered way. With an impressive amount of information per spread, the seamless dance between author, illustrator and editor really is quite masterful.

An impressive, visually and mentally-pleasing creation, rich with history and cultural delight, this is a worthy bookshelf addition, no matter where in the world you live.

Title: The 50 States
Author: Gabrielle Balkan
Illustrator: Sol Linero
Publisher: Wide Eyed, $60 RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2015
Format: Hard cover, large format
ISBN: 9781847807113
For ages: 6+
Type: Picture Book, Non-Fiction