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

Friday 19 August 2016

Review: A Texas Year

There are 14 million cattle in the State of Texas. The name Texas comes from the word Tejas, meaning ‘friends’. This information and more is found in A Texas Year, a title simultaneously released with A New York Year.

Who are the kids that accompany us on our journey through Twelve Months in the Life of Texan Kids?

Mia, whose dad is from Argentina, wants to be a mom and a Tex-Mex cook. Christopher’s dad was born in Texas and his mum in Korea. He dreams of a future as a computer scientist. Alexis wants to be Miss America when she’s older, but is currently a champion Line Dancer. Ethan is African-American and a budding palaeontologist. Luis is born in Mexico and wants to become a rodeo rider. They are a small part of the large group that represents the cultural diversity of Texas.

We set out on another adventure into a mixture of customs, traditions, events, sporting activities, flora and fauna, food (lots of it), Mardi Gras, Presidential birthdays, and Square Dancing, amongst other things that make up the State of Texas.

We are introduced to tornado season, camping in prairies where coyotes prowl and cooking is done on campfires, and where rattlesnakes slither. Also to Cesar Chavez Day, Passover, Korean Festival of Lanterns, Cinco de Mayo, class visits to The Alamo, Ramadan, Native American Heritage Month, and more varieties of food.

Then there are the words Texans use that Aussies say differently. For example, popsicles for icy poles, and candy for lollies. (There are many more). Wonderful quirky names appear for animals, like mule deers, and food, like corn dogs. I can hear kids laughing as they read and acquire knowledge.

This book is filled with interesting information for kids that love learning details about diverse cultures, especially ones that come from a delicious ethnic mix.

Big Facts at the end share just that about the State of Texas. Here, too, is a detailed map of the area with indications where whales and dolphins swim, and flowers and reptiles are found. Don’t forget to check out the stunning end papers that depict every one of the gorgeous illustration that appear throughout the book. Beautiful and collectible, this one will sit perfectly beside the others of the series.

Title: A Texas Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Texan Kids
Author: Tania McCartney
Illustrator: Tina Snerling
Publisher: EK Books, $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1 August 2016
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9781925335064
For ages: 5+
Type: Non Fiction Picture Book