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Sam Houston: Standing Firm (Texas Heroes For Young Readers)
by Mary Dodson Wade (Author), Joy Fisher Hein (Illustrator)
Reading level: Ages 5-7
Hardcover: 24 pages
Publisher: bright sky press (2009)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-933979-13-7
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 11.0 x 0.3 inches

I've read many scholarly works on Sam Houston but Mary Dodson Wade has captured Sam Houston, one of the most complex characters in Texas History, in a detail unfound in children's books.

Set in 24 wonderful four color illustrations by Joy Fisher Hein, the text has a statement of fact in almost every sentence. "Sam Houston was big man. He did big things" the story begins and it walks the young reader through every major event in Sam Houston's life. It tells of his sticking to his beliefs even when they were not popular and how he reveled in being unique both in action and dress. It tells of his life with the Cherokee, his life as a politician and as a family man with his young wife Margret Lea. But mostly it tells of his public service to Native Americans, Texas and to the United States. This is a Children's book about a complex man that all can read, learn and understand that is a literary success.

T Is for Texas (My State's Alphabet Book)
by Anne Bustard
Age level: Ages 3 and up
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Voyageur Press (MN) (November 1989)
Language: English
ISBN: 0896581136
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.3 x 0.3 inches

Not just another ABC book. T is for Texas is a beautiful photographic essay on our state. This one should be included in everyone's Texas collection. And Hey, you can learn the alphabet while you are learning all the good stuff about our state.

Christmas on the Plains
by Russell Isbell
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 20 pages
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises (January 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60462-192-1
Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 5.8 x 0.2 inches

A great "read to me" Christmas story by Dad and author, Russell Isbell. With a cast of animal characters and a personal visit by Saint Nick himself. The illustrations bring the scenes and entertaining characters to life.

This book also comes with instructions that allow you to download an audio file of the author reading "Christmas on the Plains". It can be played through your computer speakers or any popular MP3 player.

Armadillo From Amarillo
By Lynne Cherry
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: Trumpet Club; Trumpet Club special ed edition (1996)
Language: English
ISBN: 978-0440832485
Product Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 0.5 inches

The armadillo sets out to find out where in the world he is and ends up on a wild adventure. This is a fun book on several levels. First the armadillo names Sasperillo send post cards of his adventures to his friend, Brillo. The post cards are short and sweet and factual. It is also fun to find Sadpartillo the Armadillo in the pictures beautifully illustrated by the author herself. Sasparillo visited some of the most popular sites in Texas such as, Austin, Enchanted Rock, Palo Duro Canyon and Amarillo. Along the way Sasparillo sees fields of bluebonnets, endangered song birds and longhorns. With the help of an Eagle, Sasparilllo learns where she is from in the Texas, the United States and the Universe.

Armadillo Rodeo
By Jan Brett
Reading level: Ages 8-10
Publisher: Scholastic (1995)
Language: English
Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.3 x 0.2inches

Bo, the armadillo falls for a pair of red cowboy boots, thinking he has found a new friend. He follows the boots all the way to the rodeo, a barb que and a dance. He discovers the red boots are not an armadillo at all. Luckily Mom and his brothers have found his and take him back home.

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