cover image United Tweets of America

United Tweets of America

Hudson Talbott, . . Putnam, $17.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24520-6

The impish conceit of this zany book is that America's 50 state birds are taking part in a “United Tweets” pageant emceed by a bald eagle (“And now we'll tell you a little something about each bird and the state they call home”). Talbott lists the nickname and state bird for each state, then supplies other information that is so random and delivered in such tongue-in-cheek fashion that fact may look like deliciously outrageous fiction. The Mississippi Mockingbird, for example, shown sporting an Elvis Presley haircut and jeweled cape, is said to be known as the “King of Song.” Throughout, birds tease each other from across the pages (“You wanna piece o' me?” “Eat my tail feathers!”), and in the end they all fight over which will be named “Top Tweet.” Short on ornithology and long on humor, this book is especially good at state trivia (for Minnesota, more than 10 popular items invented there, including Scotch tape and water skis; the state dance of South Carolina; etc.). Ages 6–8. (May)