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Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the “Lone Star State”! Review by Ta'Neisha Kemp and Kelly BurgessAmber Manning
1836 Spirit of Texas Way, Ste 200
Conroe, TX 77301
Since the grand state of Texas is my home I was elated to review this awesome book, Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the “Lone Star State”! This book, written by Amber Manning and published by Bluebonnet Kids, is a fact filled treasure chest that we have enjoyed reading over and over again.
Each page is filled with a short rhyme featuring the history, sites, sounds, and so much more about Texas. The book begins with our fight for independence mentioning the battle of San Jacinto and the Alamo, of course. It continues on paying homage to our leaders, our nickname, our capital city, and dedications indicated via our flag’s design. Each mention of our state story was done respectfully and in language where children of any age can understand the reverence.
Next, we are reminded of our friendly motto and meaning of our state name as well as other fun facts like our flower and mammal. As we read on we learn about the skilled Texas Rangers plus fun pastimes like country music, rodeos, and gazing at bluebonnets. I think the author was extremely clever to use local colloquialisms throughout the text. She also included the strong sense of Texas pride we are known for across the globe.
As the story ends we are introduced to the various crops, businesses and ranches that can be found in Texas. Oil, cows, sheep, and so much more can be found on our land. Beautiful sights that might often be taken for granted by locals are also mentioned. The Guadalupe Peak Mountains, Caddo Lake, the Great Plains, various canyons and beautiful fields were perfectly recreated via the illustrations provided. At the end of the book you will find a facts section which houses 28 interesting things along with 10 review questions. The state pledge, song, and map are also included.
We had so much fun reading this book from cover to cover. Our younger children were pleased with the captivating illustrations and fun rhymes. Our oldest had just finished Texas lap book project so he was quite familiar with everything mentioned within these pages. With him, I used this book to review as he read to his brother and sister. I also had him summarize the book orally and we worked the review questions into our weekly free writing time.
If you are native Texans like us or plan to study United States history soon, this would be a grand addition to your home library. I was able to use this book with all our children, ages 2, 4, and 10. State themed activities are also easy to find and mostly for free if you plan on making this into a complete unit study. Amber Manning definitely captured the pride, splendor, and valor of my home within each rhyme of Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the “Lone Star State”! This book was published by Bluebonnet Kids and is currently available at various online retailers.
-Product review by Ta’Neisha Kemp, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2018
Another Reviewer Perspective:
Mighty Big and Super Great: Texas is the “Lone Star State”!
This is a lovely twenty-six-page hardcover book to teach kids facts about the state of Texas in a fun and engaging way. I read this story to my ten-year old son as a bedtime story, and we both loved it!
The first eighteen pages provide a lively, rhyming story about the origins and nature of the state, complete with beautiful, full-color, cartoon-like illustrations that grasp the reader’s attention. The story has large print, so even younger readers can follow along easily. The story tells you how the state gained its independence, who the key figures were, what natural resources it has, what animals and insects live here, how Texas got its nickname, what each part of the state flag represents, who the Texas Rangers are, and so on. And it’s all presented in a fun and memorable rhyme.
Following the story, there are four pages of “Fun Texas Facts” that we found truly fascinating! For instance, did you know that our state fair has the largest Ferris wheel in the western hemisphere? I took my kids to the state fair last fall shortly after we arrived in Texas, but we didn’t go on any rides. Had I known we had a famous Ferris wheel, we surely would have tried it out just to say we’d been on it! Did you know that Texas has more airports than any other state, and the Amarillo airport has the third largest runway in the world, which is designated as an alternate landing site for the space shuttle? Even my thirteen-year old daughter thought that was pretty cool. We also did not know that hamburgers were invented in Athens, Texas, but then with over twelve million cows in our state, it makes sense that we’d figure out something to do with all of them! This section provides twenty-eight different facts about the state of Texas, and most of it was completely new information to us, since we haven’t even lived here for a year yet.
After the fun facts section, this book also includes two pages with ten questions about Texas and the content of the book. This is a great way to review information your child has learned, and it also provides a little scavenger hunt through the illustrations. My son thought that was a lot of fun, and even though it was bedtime, he perked right up to find all of the flags and Texas outlines in the book!
Lastly, the book includes two additional pages with the Texas Pledge, the lyrics to the state song, and a simple and colorful outline map of the state of Texas that shows its bordering lands, major cities, and capital city.
Overall, this book provides a lot more information that we initially expected, and it was a pleasant surprise! It’s actually quite educational, and it provides a lot of facts in a way that makes it interesting for children. As newcomers to the state, this book really filled in the blanks for us, and we really enjoyed it! I’m glad to have it in my homeschool library.
-Product review by Kelly Burgess, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, May, 2018