Author:Popham, Mary
Position:Children's review - Book review

Conrad J. Storad (author), Lynda Exley (author), Michael Hagelberg (illustrator); ARIZONA; Five Star Publications (Children's: Juvenile Fiction) $11.95 ISBN: 9781589850477

Byline: Mary Popham

It's a fact. Two of Arizona's creepiest creatures, the Gila monster and the tarantula, are shy: the largest lizard in the state is venomous but spends most of its life burrowing underground during the day and coming out at night to eat; the gentle tarantula would rather hide in sandy soil and only releases tiny poisonous hairs when it is threatened.

In Arizona: Way Out West & Wacky, award-winning educators Conrad J. Storad and Lynda Exley, together with illustrator and designer Michael Hagelberg, use stories, crossword puzzles, word-games, and craft exercises to teach history. They also tell ghost stories and tales of Western moviemakers, and give instructions for making a cornhusk doll. And the book includes recipes for local food: biscuits, cobbler, and cornbread baked in a Dutch oven, as well as enchiladas, salsa, and rice pudding. Especially intriguing to children are lessons the book offers about Arizona's nightmare creatures, plus its roadrunners, snakes, jackrabbits, ants, and bees.

Johnny Ringo, J. R. for short, is a Ringtail Cat. He is honored as Arizona's official state mammal, and he and his sister Jayne guide the reader through this adventurous history book often using humor as a...

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