cover image The Scrambled States of America Talent Show

The Scrambled States of America Talent Show

Laurie Keller, . . Holt, $16.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-7997-5

Keller is once again guilty of transporting laughter across state lines in this follow-up to her hit The Scrambled States of America . Who knew that the 50 states were such a bunch of hams? She shows readers the backstage histrionics: California demands to talk to his agent when Georgia gets a bad case of stage fright, and Hawaii doesn't get the answer she seeks when she asks Kansas: “Does this grass skirt make my butte look big?” But the show must go on—and it does with every possible kind of act, from Minnesota the Magician (who seems to saw South Dakota in half) to the State Impersonators (Tennessee and Wyoming form Oklahoma and then ask, “What's up with this handle, anyway? I mean, what am I—a state or a frying pan ?”). Some fans of the first book may argue that this one isn't as geographically clever—and they could be right. But the snappy dialogue flows effortlessly, the personalities are as winning as ever, and the pictures' energy never flags. It's e pluribus boffo! Ages 4–9. (Aug.)