Cover Image: Only in California

Only in California

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Member Reviews

'Only in California: Weird and Wonderful Facts About The Golden State' by Heather Alexander with illustrations by Jen Taylor is a great overview of California full of information.

Each full double page features an area of the state like the desert, San Francisco.  There are also pages featuring native animals, famous people from California, inventions created in the state, and more.

The art is what drew me in.  The bursts of facts are interesting.  The state's many different places get pretty good coverage.  This would be a nice gift for a young reader travelling to the state or just interested in learning things.
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Only in California will make a great classroom reference book. It introduces many interesting facts and features. The illustrations are lovely and engaging. I am looking forward to reading about others states as well.
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This book should be for children but it's perfect for any armchair traveller too. Lot's of information and lovely pictures.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Great book for a school library in California! Fascinating bits of information and beautiful illustrations true to Wide Eyed Publishing. There is a heavy emphasis on popular spots, would have been nice to see the entire State represented equally.
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What a fantastic guide to California for middle-grade readers!   Loosely organized in an imaginary road trip, readers venture in a loop from San Diego, up the coast to the redwoods, then back down to Palm Springs, stopping in many notable locales along the way.  Interspersed with descriptions of places, other themes such as animals, nature, foods, inventions, and significant citizens are explored.   

Instead of a traditional book format, this is all presented in infographics and annotated pictures, which makes it very engaging and less intimidating for readers while still packing in great bite-size chunks of information.   The art is absolutely gorgeous and full of vivid detail and bold color.   This is really a love letter to the Golden State and showcases the grandeur and wonder of this huge, very special place.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!
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Wide-Eyed Editions are some of my favourite non-fiction books for children, and this is another fantastic edition. I love the illustration style, and it's well-broken down into various sections and full of facts. As a Brit who loves to imagine the differences between the different US states, I'd genuinely lap up 50 of these on each of them. 100% a book I would order for my library service
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What a charming, informative and entertaining book - a great read for children of all ages (I am 48)!

Did you know that:
🚋 Maya Angelou was a San Francisco Streetcar conductor before she became a celebrated poet?
🌉 The height of the roadway over the Golden Gate Bridge can vary up to 16 feet, due to steel expansion and contraction with air temperature?
🗻 California contains both the highest and lowest points of the contiguous USA (not including Alaska and Hawaii), Mount Whitney and Badwater Basin respectively, and that they're located only 80 miles apart?
👸🏻 Beverly Hills, now the playground of the rich and famous, was once a lima bean ranch?
🥝 Over 90% of the USA's almonds, apricots, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, figs, garlic, kiwifruit, nectarines, olives, persimmons, pistachios, plums, pomegranates, raisins, spinach, canning tomatoes and walnuts are grown in California's fertile Central Valley?
🚴🏻‍♂️ Both BMX and mountain-biking originated in California?
🍌 That you can visit the International Banana Museum in the town of Mecca, in the Coachella Valley?
🌳 That giant coastal Redwoods get almost 40% of their water from thick coastal fog, rather than groundwater?
🏰 That Doritos translates as "little golden things" in Spanish and the snack was invented at Disneyland to use up stale tortillas?

I didn't know any of those things, but now I do - thanks to reading the fun and informative Only in California: Weird and Wonderful Facts About The Golden State!

Author Heather Alexander combines thoughtfully arranged and fascinating facts with Jen Taylor's gorgeous retro-style illustrations, which brought to mind Miroslav Sasek's classic and much-loved "This is..." series, originally published in the 1950s and 60s.

My family enjoyed a wonderful few weeks on holiday in California (from Australia) about a decade ago and visited many of the areas and attractions described in Only in California. Our daughter was only 10 months old at the time, but I think you'd struggle to find a better destination for a family holiday. The people are friendly, the climate is fantastic and there are just so many great things to do and see!

I'd recommend Only in California as a great addition to any home library for native Californians and those who love travelling and learning about other places. The book would make a fabulous gift for a young friend who is going to visit the Golden State, and would be a worthy addition to the reference collection of any elementary-middle school library. I'm delighted to learn that Only in California is the first in a planned series of state-by-state books!

My thanks to the author, Heather Alexander, illustrator Jen Taylor, publisher Quarto Publishing Group – Wide Eyed Editions, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book.
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As someone who was born in California [and dreams of one day moving back], this was a complete hoot for me to read. Fulled with fun and weird facts and really great illustrations, this is an excellent way to introduce yourself [and your littles] to this great state. This is just so much fun and kids of all ages and their grownups will love reading this over and over!! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Heather Alexander and Quarto Publishing Group - Wide Eyes Editions for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my eARC of Only in California. I don't usually read / review children's books on NetGalley, but I got this one for my daughter! We took a road trip through most of California last year and visited many of the places mentioned in this book: San Diego, San Francisco, the Redwoods and more! I grew up road tripping through California so I loved sharing my love of the state with my daughter. She is FASCINATED by California, so I knew she'd love this one, and I was right! I love the diversity and inclusion, and there was some great information here that we didn't know. Foods, festivals, change makers that I didn't realize were from CA. It's full of so much interesting and fun information! My only suggestion would be to see if you can get the eARC on Kindle. It was a bit difficult to view in the NetGalley shelf app, as the words and images did not format correctly and were elongated. But that did not impact my review one bit. 5 stars! Excellent job!!! 👏
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This non-fiction text shares important information about the state of California including geographical, historical and cultural information. Topics covered include: Los Angeles, Museums and Attractions and the Redwood Forests. The illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and really help with sharing the information. Some of the text is fairly small but over all it is fairly easy to read and understand. I teach in Canada but if I were in the US I would definitely consider purchasing a copy of this book for my classroom and could see so many research and learning opportunities this book could help with, especially if research or doing a project on the state. I would recommend this book to parents or teachers of children in the age 7-12 range with an interest in California. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
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Firstly just want to say thank you to @quartokids @quartobooksuk and @netgalley for letting me read the proof of this! It was so lovely!

So there are a couple of reasons I requested this book. I loved it when my husband and I took a trip to San Francisco a few years ago, I’m a primary teacher and thought it would be fun to read a children’s book and finally I own a few other books by Wide Eyed and think they are beautiful. This didn’t disappoint. 

The structure and layout of the book was clear and easy to follow, almost as if you were going on a trip through California yourself. It was all made easier to read with the beautifully clever illustrations! So many little images to look at within the main artwork. Although I thought this would be great to recommend to the children in my class, I think everyone of any age would enjoy this! 

I really enjoyed the facts that were provided and I didn’t feel it was too over crowded. My favourite fact was; “DORITOS were invented at Disneyland to use up stale food! The park's Mexican(ish) restaurant would take the stale tortillas, then spice and fry them into triangular chips. Frito-Lay started producing Doritos ("little golden things"
in Spanish) in 1966.”

I look forward to hopefully seeing this in UK book stores!
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I love all the graphics and the layout of this book!! It is a very eyecatching book and very detailed. This book would be very helpful for someone wanting to visit California!
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This book is beautifully illustrated with so many facts given in an accessible way. It feels like an adventure just exploring the pages - never mind visiting California. The vocabulary is high level 'state superlatives' which I really liked - you could use this in geography lessons but also cross-curricular for SPaG!

I'm sure this is the first title in a series. I cannot wait to see the others that are produced and I will be stocking them all in my KS2 library!
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Review to come to my blog on August 13th and to my blog in September.

I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review.

I just love to read about countries and places. Travel is expensive and I am sorry to all people living in certain countries/places, I just don't want to visit some countries. While I would absolutely love to visit the US one day.. it is not going to happen. Not with how unsafe it is. So I am happy that there are so many books that I can read so I can still travel in a way to the US and see various states and all the fun things that go on in there. 

In this book we go to visit the state of California! From San Francisco to Palm Springs and Hollywood, I was hyped to find out a lot about this state. I was also definitely hoping for some odder and stranger facts and not just the same things you often read about. 

I loved that the book started with a map to show us how the road trip through this state would go! Starting point is San Diego and the end point is Palm Springs! I loved reading about all the little parts we visited and at times I truly wished I could just step in! I loved that every topic/place we visit gets a two-paged often fully illustrated spread. With facts everywhere! From that Central Valley farmers produce around 250 different crops to that bisons roam in the Golden Gate Park to many other fun facts. There was never a dull moment and I am happy that thanks to this book I have been able to visit places I was curious about. Of course, we only get a small glimpse, but it was enough for me at the moment. 

Yes, topics! Because we aren't just visiting well-known spots in the state, we also get parts in between about all sorts of topics. Like some general facts about the state to sports to trees & flowers + animals to museums & attractions (and I so wanted to visit Whaley House and OMG an international banana museum) to inventions and well everything else. There was so much and I found myself excitedly look forward to each of these pages. This was exactly what I wanted! Find out about locations but also about other things, sometimes very odd, mostly very interesting! 

I learned a lot about this state and at times just wish I could step in the book! 

Oddly, there was a bridge named San Diego Coronado bridge that, according to the text, was said to be painted bright blue. However.. the bridge I saw on the illustration, and I suppose it was that bridge, only had like a wee little line that I could barely make out. I had to actually look online to see the actual colours and that the bridge is indeed quite blue at points. Why the illustrator decided to not show more of the colour or why they didn't go for another vantage point so you could actually see more of the colour..

The illustrations (other than that bridge not being very blue) were fantastic. I just love the style of it, very gorgeous and I love the colours. Definitely have to see if this illustrator has more works!

All in all, have you been meaning to visit California? But no money/don't want to go the US for reasons? Then I would highly recommend this gorgeous and fun book full of facts and information!
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This title is the first in a projected series on the fifty states. It makes an excellent start to a collection for a home or school library. Kids are invited in with the colorful, fact-filled and engaging illustrations with accompanying text. Many places and topics are touched on here; there are the cities, museums, natural resources,history, foods, people, festivals and more. With this book, children will learn about the wonders of California and will be proud of knowing some fun facts about the state.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Quarto-Wide Eyed Editions for this title. All opinions are my own.
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I love the 50 States series. There is something so nostalgic about reading a book meant for children while still learning at the same time. The illustrations are fun and engaging. This book is great for both kids or adults and even more fun to read together. It would make a great coffee table book.
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Only In California by @halexanderbooks

Release date : August 2nd 2022

This children's non fiction book is a  really good one for anyone who wants to learn more about the American state of California.

For me being British, California has alot of places that are on my travelling wishlist, and it was really fun and informative to learn some interesting and random facts about the different places that make up this state. 

This book is a fact file of information and history, and accompanied by bright illustrations by Jen Taylor.

I really enjoyed this one, and one fact I loved was discovering that there is a place called Idyllwild where the town mayor is a golden retriever dog!

So, if you enjoy learning new things and facts then this is a really fun book to try when it's released soon.

Thank you to the author, publishers and @netgalley for this ARC.
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Only in California is a beautifully illustrated book, packed full of fun facts about California. It's the 1st volume in a new series containing “weird and wonderful” facts about all 50 states. 

The author, Heather Alexander, covers over a dozen cities and locations all across the state and discusses a variety of topics in a unique way for each place. While the organization of the book itself is a little messy, there is an index at the back.

Having grown up in California, I'm always curious to see which items get included in books like this and Only in California has a good selection of both well known and more obscure facts. 

The illustrator Jen Taylor’s artwork throughout the book is gorgeous and goes well with the style of the series. 

This book would make a great addition to any elementary classroom or home library. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing - Wide Eyed Editions!
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