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Where is Robin? USA Review by Melanie Schemanski

Robin Barone
Diplomat Books, LLC
https://www.amazon.com/Where-Robin-USA-Barone/dp/0990631001

http://www.diplomatbooks.com

Where is Robin? USA is a beautiful children’s picture book that explores the USA. Robin is a restless little bird, ready to leave the nest. She promises to return home after her travels. She visits various cities, states and landmarks throughout this colorfully illustrated book. The book includes a separate map that you can look over as the book is being read. This hardback, adventure book sells for $20.

I read this book with my eight-year-old son, just enjoying the book and illustrations the first time. We noticed that not all the places Robin visited were just cities, or landmarks, but a combination of them as well as states. The second time we read it we got out the included map and looked up the states and cities so that we could follow the path that Robin flew to get to each place. The map does have bird tracks following the path which was helpful. Robin begins her adventure in Philadelphia and travels the whole USA, ending in New York before traveling home. Other places she stops include the Outer Banks, Nashville, Florida Keys, Texas, AZ, Seattle, Colorado, Mount Rushmore, Boston and others. You can see there is a little of everywhere thrown in the mix. As Robin travels, the sites to see are in bold face and larger font. This allowed for ease in looking up specific places and areas to research in a geography style study. There were also cultural words bold faced like Creole and Jazz in New Orleans for example. Each different location had illustrations that showcased that area of the country. For a homeschool family, there are many “rabbit trails’ you can take utilizing this book. With each adventure of Robin, there is maybe two through four pages of basic information on the area. With the bold-faced words, you can have the student look up the words in the dictionary to begin. For older kids, they could even do a small research project on the specific area, looking up pictures and current information. We enjoyed talking about the weather in each area, as well as looking at the illustrations and finding things that are different from where we live. Robin couldn’t hit every state but how fun it would be if she could!

This book is an excellent look at geography for a beginning student just learning about the USA. It gives a sampling of states, cities and landmarks to help excite the student about the adventures that can be had. You can easily just read it as a picture book and enjoy the vibrant illustrations. It lends itself well to diving in more deeply to learn more about each of the regions as well. It is one of those books you can read aloud to your student and watch them expand from there. At first I wasn’t real sure about the variety of places. I tend to like to keep it a bit more organized, so perhaps Robin traveling to just cities, or just landmarks. The more I read it though, the more I felt that the variety is more appealing to children. The repetition and organization of just having States, or just landmarks, may not open their eyes to the variety that the book means for. It does leave you wanting to learn more about the USA. I would love to see another adventure from Robin of some of the states and landmarks she could not get to in this book. The book is excellent in design and durability. The pages are nice and thick, and the deep, rich hues of the illustration are beautiful.

-Product review by Melanie Schemanski, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2017

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