I’m Booking Across the USA in Iowa!

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Boy am I excited to join in this project! Booking Across the USA features bloggers covering ALL 50 states! Each blog will feature a children’s picture book either about their state or a book written by an author from their state. What a fun idea!! I can’t wait to spend the day checking out everyone else’s posts! I am covering IOWA!

Those of you have know me know that we moved to Iowa last August – so there is a LOT of things still new for me as we are still exploring our state! So I actually decided to choose two different books. One is a children’s picture book from an Iowan author, and the other is an “about Iowa” type of book, also from an Iowan author, that has helped us to explore new places and things to do here!

Originally I wanted to do a picture book about someone famous from Iowa but that turned out to be a lot more difficult than I had imagined! So instead I turned to a children’s author from Iowa and came across Jacqueline Briggs Martin who has actually written quite a few books (you can see all of her books here). We chose to read this one:

Chicken Joy on Red Bean Road by Jacqueline Briggs Martin is such a cute and brightly illustrated children’s book about worrisome plain brown hen Miss Cleoma. Life was good until chicken measles attacked the rooster and things sort of spiraled downhill from there! In this story you’ll also find out how the animals revolted by throwing veggies at the farmer – which inspired us to re-enact our veggies scavenger hunt in the house! And the fun doesn’t stop there because just this week an Iowan author will be visiting our school and sharing her book with the students as well!

The other book I chose Off the Beaten Path: A Guide to Unique Places by Lori Erickson.

off the beaten path iowa book

As we’ve been traveling and exploring things here in Iowa I’ve been blogging about them (you can see links to those posts below) but there is SO much that we don’t know about so this was the perfect book for us! We were able to look up different historical and interesting places to visit by region in our state. And not only that but the book also had lists of odd facts and dates of popular festivals!  My kids are begging to go to all sorts of events now! I was shocked to see that we had actually visited many of the places listed in our area – much more than I was expecting! AND every year this book is updated with current local town favorite restaurants and other festivities.

reading a book

In fact there are “Off the Beaten Path” books for every state and even more locations! I am SO glad to have stumbled across this book. If you are planning on moving or even vacationing somewhere new these books are more than worth it! Are your kids or students looking for interesting places to do a book report on? These are great! My book was only about $10 and now our family has an even longer “bucket list” of things to do here in Iowa! Here are some of the places in Iowa that we have already visited which are all listed in this book:

Lost Towns of Red Rock

Covered Bridges of Madison County

Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center

Iowa State Fair

Dutch visions of Pella  

Blank Park Zoo

Sorry for such a lengthy post but I also wanted to list for you links to the other sites listed alphabetically by state! So make sure you check each state and see what books, activities, and other golden nuggets of information they have featured!

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  1. Thanks for all the resources. We visit our neighbors chickens each week to get our eggs so any chicken story is enjoyed here. Now we have a new one and a new author to explore.

  2. Jodie @Growing Book By Book says:

    What a great list of resources. Thank you for participating in the Booking Across the USA project!

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