It is Christmas vacation and William is touring Virginia with Aunt Mary Jean and cousin Madison. Eleanor didn't get to go (because she broke her leg), but she tells us about all of the things her brother sent her. It starts with one cardinal in a dogwood tree and ends with 12 plovers flying in the air at Virginia Beach.
There is plenty of Virginia history in this story about a young boy's Christmas vacation. The endpapers have a US map so you can see where Virginia is (and compare it to where you are). There are also some great facts and profiles in the back.
10 and Up
4 to 8
Read with a 9-year-old girl.
Borrow, at least. If you live in Virginia, this would be a good one to have at home starting by about second grade when kids start learning about the history of the commonwealth.
"This was fun!" It helped that our third-grader is studying Virginia history and knows many of these places.
This is a clever way to introduce state history and symbols. With all of the repetition it is definitely memorable. The author has done an incredible job making this a book to share. The letters William writes are perfect for an adult (or older sibling) to read, and the chorus (the 12 days) is perfect for new readers. The illustrations do not overwhelm the reader, but at the same time they offer plenty to look at while Mom/Dad read the letter.
Families will enjoy sharing this story built around a beloved holiday song and Virginia history.