Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Review: Only in California: Weird and Wonderful Facts About The Golden State by Heather Alexander, illustrated by Jen Taylor

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it


The first in a collection of state-by-state books from the best-selling 50 States series, Only in California! explores the most amazing sites, cities, history, and natural landscapes of the Golden State.

From the bright lights of L.A. to the natural majesty of the Redwood forests, this beautiful book is a deep dive into what makes California so great. Full bleed illustrations capture a sense of place, while pull-out spot artworks zoom in on the most fascinating facts.

Locations also include: San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge, Lake Tahoe, Central Valley, San Diego with its famous beach and boardwalk scene, the coastal kelp forests, Napa and Sonoma wine country, Yosemite Valley with El Capitan, the lowest point in North America, Death Valley, Big Sur, Palm Springs, and many more!

Each book in the state-by-state subseries covers the following areas: 
- Weird and wacky stats and facts
- Historical timeline
- Local sports
- Museums, amusement parks, and cultural events
- Food and drink
- Animals and plants
- Inventions
- Fun festivals
- Changemakers and superstars
- Quiz questions 
Get ready to take a whirlwind adventure around the Golden State, filled with fascinating facts, beautiful illustrations, and much, much more!

My Review

This is a beautifully illustrated book with a matte cover, glossy accents, and embossed title. The pages are also matte and heavy weight. The information on each page is interesting and relevant. It made me want to explore more of the great state I live in! I loved seeing my hometown San Diego represented, as well as some National Parks. There are pages that focus on the state overall with statistics, and others explored more specific themes and locations. I especially liked the ones featuring places I have visited. Fun Festivals and Weird, Weirder, Weirdest are full of fun and zany activities, facts, and landmarks. The Changemakers pages were heavy on liberal figures, I would have liked to see it more balanced with some conservative people as well. Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it!

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

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