Amazing Places

By Kirkus Reviews

This companion to Amazing Faces (2015) is a tribute to United States landmarks and adds illustrator Hale as a collaborator. Eleven states are highlighted, ranging from Alaska to Kansas to Massachusetts. San Francisco's Chinatown, the Grand Canyon, the State Fair of Texas, and the Oneida Nation Museum are among the American treasures featured alongside poetry penned by an eclectic representation of treasured Americans of many ethnicities. The selections' wide appeal invites intergenerational sharing, particularly in the classroom or at family gatherings. For example, in addition to the reader-engaging, playful visual formatting of Prince Redcloud's "Niagara," this poem also lends itself to multivoice readings: "falls / and / falls / forever-ever / flowing / falling / falling / cascading / crashing / dipping / dropping / plunging / tumbling / stop…." Soentpiet and Hale's exceptional pencil-and-digital illustrations reinforce the word pictures evoked by the poetry. Light and shadow, skillfully rendered with the look of watercolor paint, play across the scenes. A historical glossary is appended, and the map of the United States indicating each landmark's location is included on the endpapers. Amazing, indeed: American readers will come away both proud of what the country has to offer and eager to visit the sites in person.