HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: American Heritage New Pictorial Encyclopedic Guide to the United States, Volume I: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona
Author: Oliver Jensen, editor
Publisher: American Heritage, 1965
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Jensen, Oliver, editor. American Heritage New Pictorial Encyclopedic Guide to the United States, Volume I: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona (published in 1965 by American Heritage Publishing Co. Inc., 551 Fifth Ave., New York City, NY 10017). When I was in elementary school, my parents purchased the American Heritage New Pictorial Encyclopedic Guide to the United States, which was created, designed, and copyrighted by the American Heritage Publishing Co. and printed by Dell Publishing Co. There were sixteen volumes. Vol. 1 covered Alabama, Alaska, and Arizona; Vol. 2, Arkansas, California, Colorado; Vol. 3, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia; Vol. 4, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois; Vol. 5, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky; Vol. 6, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland; Vol. 7, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota; Vol. 8, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska; Vol. 9, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico; Vol. 10, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota; Vol. 11, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon; Vol. 12, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina; Vol. 13, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas; Vol. 14, Utah, Vermont, Virginia; Vol. 15, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin; Vol. 16, Wyoming, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U. S. Territories.
Several features are given for each state. A lengthy article with copious illustrations tells about the geography and history. There is a wonderful two-page spread with colorful drawings to identify the native flora and fauna. The last few pages contain a map showing places of interest with a description of each place, and an information roundup that includes a time line. The final volume has an appendix of several different tables and lists of things related to the states. As a kid, I loved to study history and geography. And I loved to read. So I spent many happy hours perusing through these books. Apparently, a two-volume reference type edition was also published. Obviously, since the series was published in 1965, much of the data would be hopelessly outdated by now. However, some of it would still be useful, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it since to match the depth and appeal of the books. I just happened to notice the entire set, plus individual volumes, as well as the two-volume edition, listed on Amazon.com.