Cover image for The scrambled states of America
The scrambled states of America
Keller, Laurie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Henry Holt, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 26 cm
The states become bored with their positions on the map and decide to change places for a while. Includes facts about the states.
Reading Level:
AD 510 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.4 0.5 31560.

Reading Counts RC 3-5 5.5 2 Quiz: 16164.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



At the first annual "states party," Virginia and Idaho hatch a plan to swap spots so each can see another part of the country. Before the party is over, all the states decide to switch places.

In the beginning, every state is happy in its new location. But soon things start to go wrong. Florida, who switches spots with Minnesota, is freezing in the frosty northern climate, and Minnesota hasn't brought sunscreen and is getting an awful sunburn. Will the states ever unscramble themselves and return to their proper places?

Packed with madcap humor and whimsical illustrations, this quirky story--starring all fifty states--is chock-full of introductory facts and silly antics that will make learning geography as much fun as taking a vacation.

This title has Common Core connections.

Author Notes

Laurie Keller is a designer and fine artist, and the illustrator of Marty Frye, Private Eye , by Janet Tashjian. Ms. Keller makes her picture-book debut with The Scrambled States of America .

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The states on the map are snoozing one night until New York wakes up the others with a bright idea: a talent show! Throughout the day, the little state-shaped figures bustle about, organizing themselves into group and individual acts, crew, and director. There are glitches, of course, but these troupers carry on, from rehearsals right through to the postproduction party and chatter. The characters (resembling thin, state-shaped puzzle pieces with large faces and wiry limbs) generate their own kind of excitement in the colorful, dynamic illustrations, created with acrylic painting and digital collage. Even the endpapers bustle with excitement and wit: lists of the states with their statehood dates and their postal code abbreviations are featured, while in the margins, tiny characters make comments and crack jokes that are right on target for the book's audience. This amusing geography-inspired picture book is a fine companion to The Scrambled States of America (1998).--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2008 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Keller is once again guilty of transporting laughter across state lines in this follow-up to her hit The Scrambled States of America. Who knew that the 50 states were such a bunch of hams? She shows readers the backstage histrionics: California demands to talk to his agent when Georgia gets a bad case of stage fright, and Hawaii doesn't get the answer she seeks when she asks Kansas: "Does this grass skirt make my butte look big?" But the show must go on--and it does with every possible kind of act, from Minnesota the Magician (who seems to saw South Dakota in half) to the State Impersonators (Tennessee and Wyoming form Oklahoma and then ask, "What's up with this handle, anyway? I mean, what am I--a state or a frying pan?"). Some fans of the first book may argue that this one isn't as geographically clever--and they could be right. But the snappy dialogue flows effortlessly, the personalities are as winning as ever, and the pictures' energy never flags. It's e pluribus boffo! Ages 4-9. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-5-A geography lesson par excellence, this clever picture book also offers great extension opportunities for the classroom. Through the voice of Uncle Sam, Keller suggests that the individual states of America have become tired of their physical positions and bored with their contiguous partners. So they decide to switch: Arizona, for example, trades places with South Carolina, Florida with Minnesota, and Kansas with Hawaii. Before long, however, they discover, as Dorothy did in The Wizard of Oz, that there's no place like home, and they all return, amid much mayhem, to their original spots. In following their journeys, children will not only become involved in their stories but will also learn a lot about the "the good old U.S. of A." Keller's imaginative story, her pop-art illustrations that sprawl in and around the text, and her amusing asides will have kids quickly chiming in with sayings of their own. The clever personifications of the states will stimulate students to research the individual characteristics of their own homes, as well as those of the other states. A graphic fact chart is appended along with a montage of funny cartoons that show mixed-up sites and mascots, as Kansas sunflowers cross the Golden Gate Bridge, Florida oranges race Kentucky Derby horses, and the Statue of Liberty greets the faces on Mt. Rushmore.-Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.