Review: We Love California!

We Love California!We Love California! by Gabriella Francine

BBM Books (2013)

ISBN13: 9781938504013

As an informational text, this book was a well-illustrated and imaginative romp through the State of California. Starting with two real girls’ imagination and joined by a tour guiding descendant of the California State flag model, “Monarch” the Grizzly Bear, they are transformed into cartoons and begin to explore. The girls venture throughout the state, learning many of the state symbols and visiting landmarks along the way. The depictions are very well done: the capitol building is accurately detailed, the California poppies and state seal are very realistic. My favorite illustration was of the state grass: purple needlegrass. This is a very distinct plant and it grows in my own grandmother’s yard. The book is a fun addition to any library section on the state in terms of content; however, the language used in the book was not particularly complex considering the intended age for this book. Also, in a book of only 32 pages, finding 38 exclamation marks was a little distracting. Not everything warrants a shout out! I would recommend it, particularly for a read-aloud – yelling is optional.

Quantitative: No Lexile or ATOS available.

Qualitative: Lower Grade (K-3). Language is grade level and content is appropriate for use as read-aloud or as a source for information on the State of California.

Content Area: History: States – California

Common Core Standards: RL.1.1, RL.1.7, RL.1.9; W.1.2, W.1.3; L.1.2.a-e

Additional/Digital Resources:

State of California website – Student Portal:

Personal Notes: The punctuation in this book is excellent for illustrating editing and grammar in their own writing. The abundance of exclamation marks is a good topic for class discussions.

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