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Home Reviews Book Reviews Mrs. Sickles’ 4th grade students read OUR TEXAS, become book critics

Mrs. Sickles’ 4th grade students read OUR TEXAS, become book critics

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As Arts Editor for the newspaper, I frequently receive requests from publishing houses to review their new titles.

In late January, Lili Cohen, at Charlesbridge Publishing of Watertown, Mass., asked me to take a look at a children’s book called “Our Texas.” I told her to send me a copy and I’d get back to her.

When the book arrived, I was impressed with its content, layout and quality. I had the idea to partner with a local elementary reading teacher, with the goal of having the students review “Our Texas” in their own words.

Garrison Roller attends Como-Pickton CISD and loves to read. He’s the son of our sports writer, Cindy, so I asked her if Garrison’s teacher, Tracy Sickles, might be interested in doing the project.

Sickles agreed almost immediately.

“I have a really great group of readers,” Sickles said. “This project ties in perfectly with the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) book report requirement.”

The following are reviews of “Our Texas” by Sickles’ students. I think they have a good shot at becoming book critics in the future.


By KAREN AMARO

I was so excited when my teacher told us we were going to read a book about Texas. Finally the day came and my teacher calmly passed out the books.

She told us we had to write a book review. We had to include at least three places that we liked from the book. Also, at least one fact about those places.

Let me share some with you! Maybe I can convince you to check out the book too. The title of the book is “Our Texas”. It was written by Jacky Mims Hopkins and illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

Dallas was one of my favorite places that was mentioned in the book. This is because I like to shop for just about anything. Dallas is known for its many shops. I also like going each year and enjoying the State Fair. My favorite ride there is the Texas Star. It is the largest Ferris wheel in the western hemisphere. This is what the book says.

The other thing I liked from the book was the San Jacinto Monument. This monument marks the site of the final battle of the Texas revolution. I especially liked when it talked about the museum that is found at the base of the monument. It is recognized as a national historical landmark. This might be cool to you, but wait until I tell you the next one.

The next place that the book discusses is called El Paso. It is the only cities in the Mountain Time zone. Tumbleweeds are abundant in this desert area.

Over all, this book is great not only for the facts, but for the illustrations as well. I could imagine myself right inside of the book! This is why I recommend this book for you. I hope you get as much enjoyment out of it as I did.



By HANNAH ANDERSON

Recently, our class read the book “Our Texas.” The author of this book is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

I am now going to show you some very good reasons why this book is wonderful.

One of the reasons why I enjoyed this book is because it is written in poem format. It also gives excellent facts about Texas.

My favorite part is when the book tells interesting facts about San Antonio. How the author describes it, it looks exactly like the real thing. Did you know that in Spanish, the word Alamo means cottonwood tree? Many believe Spanish missionaries named it after the trees by the River Walk.

I am also very glad that the Piney Woods is mentioned! Did you know there are an abundance of Pine trees in the Piney Woods area? The Piney Woods was once also the home to the Caddo Indians.

Tyler (which is in the same area) produces the world's most gorgeous roses which are shipped all over the world.  The book also said Tyler is called the Rose Capital of America.

I also learned that in West Texas you will find the Chihuahuan Desert. It sits in Big Bend National Park. In this park, there are archaeological sites that are nearly ten thousand years old!

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to learn about fantastic things in Texas. It is really a great book for everyone. I think the illustrations are absolutely beautiful!

Overall, I love this book because it gives so many excellent facts about the Lone Star State.



By BRYNDEN ANDREWS

Recently, our class read the book “Our Texas”.  The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing. Now let me tell you about this book.  I liked this book because it is in poem format. The illustrations are great.     I thought that was awesome!

It also told a lot of facts about Texas. I did not know that Corpus Christi was once a frontier trading post where ships brought in goods to be sold in shops.

My favorite part of the book is the illustrations. Craig Spearing gave a lot of detail and used bright colors.

The book told me about these three cities: Kingsville, Houston, and Dallas. In Kingsville, the book says that there is a ranch called King Ranch. This is where Santa Gertrudis are bred. This is a type of cattle.

In Houston, you will find N.A.S.A. This is where astronauts train to go to the moon. During this time, mission control sees and guides them every minute.

When it comes to Dallas, the book states that some people call Dallas the “Big D”. In Dallas, you can see the Reunion Tower from far away. At night, because of the many lights sparkling from the Reunion Tower, you can see the Dallas skyline from miles away.

There are so many other places that the book mentions.

I hope that I have built up the suspense for you!

In the end, I really enjoyed the book because I learned a lot of interesting things about Texas that I didn't know. I recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn about Texas and the many attributes it has to offer. I really hope that you will read this wonderful book because I really think you will enjoy it!


By ANGELA BAXLEY

I was so excited when I found out we were going to read the book ''Our Texas''.

When she passed out the books I thought it looked interesting.

It had pictures like that of a cowboy, a prarie dog, and a spaceship.

I learned many things like Brownsville is the biggest city in the Rio  Grande valley,  Mexican soldiers are called soldados in Spanish,  in  Dallas they hold a  State Fair every  year, Corpus Christi used to be a trading  post, and ''Alamo''  means ''poplar  tree'' in  Spanish.

Another thing I learned was how Texas got its name.

My favorite part was the page where it talks about Tyler, because I also admire  Tyler's beautiful flower gardens.

After reading this book you might want to visit Gonzales, Brownsville, Kingsville, Corpus Christi, Houston, the Piney Woods, or Tyler.

You might want to visit the San Jacinto Monument. It is so big that there is a  whole museum inside the bottom!

Or you might want to visit the Piney Woods, where the Caddo once lived, with  luck, you might see our state bird . . . the  Mocking  bird!

You could also go to Lubbock which is also known as Hub City. If  you are completely silent, you might see a few prairie dogs.

If you're in the mood for some rodeo, just head on over to Fort  Worth! There is lots of rope'n and rid'n over yonder.

If you're in the mood to shop till you drop, then move over to Dallas.

So if you like to learn new facts about our wonderful Lone Star state, then this book is the book for you!


By BREANNA BOWEN

Recently, our class read the book “Our Texas”. The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

Now let me tell you about this book. I liked this book because it is in poem format. The illustrations are great.

Now, here are some facts that I have learned from the book.

In Corpus Christi, The water is so beautiful because when the sun shines on the water it sparkles. It was a frontier trading post, but then it developed into the largest city on the Texas Coast.

I also learned facts about Lubbock. Lubbock is the home of the biggest cotton growing region in the world. Lubbock is also used to process cotton seed.

The book also gives facts about San Antonio. The most popular site to visit in San Antonio is the Alamo. You might also want to visit the famous River walk.

Another place that the book talks about is Dallas. Every year in Dallas, they have the State Fair of Texas. Dallas is also known as having the largest shopping centers in Texas. Dallas' nickname is the “BIG D”.

Kingsville is also in the book. Henrietta King sold part of the King Ranch to make Kingsville. The King Ranch is the largest ranch in the United States.

Another place that the book talked about is the Piney Woods. In the Piney Woods, there are many kinds of pine trees. Caddo Indians lived in the Piney Woods. If you quietly listen, you can hear a Mockingbird.

Another thing it talks about in the book is the state symbols. The state gemstone is the Blue Topaz, the state flower is the Bluebonnet, the state dish is Texas Chili, and the state insect is the Monarch Butterfly.

As you can see, I really enjoyed this book! If you love our great state of Texas you'll love this book as well. I hope you get a chance to read this wonderful book!


By TRENTON CARR

I was so excited when I found out that we were going to read a book about Texas. The name of this book is, “Our Texas.” The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

This book is great because it tells different facts about Texas. Let me tell you a few of them.

I'm going to start out with my favorite. This would be Tyler. In Tyler, you would find a fourteen acre rose garden that has almost forty thousand rose shrubs. I guess this is why Tyler is called the Texas Rose Capital!

Now I'm going to share facts from the book about Dallas. Dallas hosts the Texas State Fair each year. The fifty-two foot tall cowboy has a seventy-five gallon hat and has a size seventy cowboy boots. Dallas has the most shopping centers in the U.S.

Big Bend National Park is in West Texas on an immense bend of the Rio Grande River.

The book also said that in keeping with Fort Worth's nick name, Cow town, cowhands drive longhorn cattle down Fort Worth's Exchange Avenue.

Also in the book, it talks about the Piney Woods. The Piney Woods is also known as East Texas. It is famous for its many kinds of trees. Several mixtures of hard wood trees such as a hickory and an oak also may thrive in the area.

As you can see, there are many interesting facts about our Lone Star State in this book. I would recommend this book to anyone who appreciates learning new things about our great state of Texas.

 

By CONNER CHILDERS

I was so excited when I found out that we were going to read a great book about Texas. The author was Jackie Mims Hopkins and it was illustrated by Craig J. Spearing. This book is named “Our Texas”.

By the way, my favorite part of this book is… where it talked about Dallas. I like this part because it has the best illustrations. It shows the Reunion Tower which is all lit up at night. It is in the shape of a ball! Dallas also has many types of fruit markets you can go to. Dallas is also famous for its State Fair which is held every year. As you step onto the fair grounds, you will see “Big Tex” waiting to welcome you!

The book also talked about Tyler. Tyler is called the Rose Capital of America. The gardens are beautiful there every year. The roses that are grown in Tyler are shipped to gardeners all over the world.

I almost forgot about what the book said about Big Bend. Big Bend has the world's biggest bend of   the Rio Grande.

The book also talks about Forth Worth. It is one of the many stops along the Chisholm Trail. This is a famous cattle trail.

Yet another place that is mentioned in the book is San Antonio. In 1836, during the Texas revolution, the battle of the Alamo took place. The Mexican army led by Santa Anna was outnumbered by the Texan and Tejano soldiers. I was very interested in this part of the book!

This was an awesome book! I really believe you will enjoy this book deeply. I would recommend it to anyone who loves learning new things about the great state of Texas!


By COLTON CLARK

I recently read a book called “Our Texas”….. READ MORE TO FIND OUT!!!.....

The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins. The illustrator   is Craig J. Spearing.

I have many reasons why I enjoyed this book. Let me share a part of this book with you.

I noticed some differences about this book. Things like all of   the pages in this book are in poem format. The pictures are very realistic! It made me think that I was really there!

One part that really made me feel this way was when the book was talking about Tyler. Did you know that Tyler is called the Rose Capital of the world? How awesome is that?!

The book also gives us facts about the historical places in Texas. My favorite part in the book is the San Jacinto Monument. Because we won our independence from Mexico and we captured General Santa Anna.

I recommend this book to all that adore learning about historical places.

The first battle in the Texas Revolution was in Gonzales and they wanted to get the cannon. On the cannon we put come and take it.

Also in Texas, you will find the battleship Texas. This monument is the last battle set in the Texas Revolution.

Also in this book, you will find the Alamo. The Mexican army held a siege for 13 days until they charged on and got the Alamo in less then a 1 hour and thirty minutes.

I hope whoever gets a chance to read this book will take the time to do so. You will not be disappointed at all.

 

By TAMIRA ENGLISH

I was very excited about the new experience we were going to try out on the new book called, “Our Texas.” The Author and Illustrator's names are Jackie Mims Hopkins and Craig J. Spearing.

This book is about numerous cities in Texas. It gives you various facts that might get you to want to visit our Lone star State.

“Our Texas” is an excellent choice of a book to read because it informs you about an abundance of exciting places. I now will be sharing some of my favorite sections of this book.

The city of Brownsville is known for the 1990’s Texas legislature designating the Ruby Red grapefruit to be the state fruit.

Lubbock is a town has an uninterrupted cotton-growing region, and is one of the essential centers for cottonseed operations.

Tyler is an urban area that has the tremendous rose garden that is positioned right in the middle of Tyler. They also celebrate the Texas Rose Festival each October.

The book also discusses San Antonio. Did you know that Alamo is a Spanish word for poplar tree or cottonwood tree? If not, then look in your local book called “Our Texas”.

Yet another place that the book talks about is Austin. This town of Austin is named in respect of Stephen F. Austin, the father of Texas.

Big Bend National Park is also mentioned in this book. This park is in the Chihuahuan Desert and provides archaeological sites that are close to ten thousand years old.

Another place that is mentioned is El Paso. This western most city is the only Texas City in the Mountain Time Zone; the other part of Texas is in the Central Time Zone.

One of my very favorite places that the book talks about is Dallas. The Dallas metropolitan area has more shopping places per area than any other city in the United States.

If I could, I would introduce this educational book to anyone who admires discovering new facts and ideas about Texas. I truly adore this book because it has awesome illustrations and provides very fascinating facts. This book is excellent for anyone who likes to absorb new things, and likes to read enjoyable books like this one.


By JAQUELIN HOLGUIN

Recently, our class read a book titled “Our Texas.”It was written by Jackie Mims Hopkins. It was illustrated by Craig J. Spearing. This book gives facts about Texas. I want to share with you some of these facts about Texas.

We are heading toward Tyler. Did you know that Tyler's nickname is called the Rose Capital of America? There is a reason why it is called the Rose Capital of America. It is because it has roses that grow there. The roses are sent all over the world. It is really incredible! There was a part of the book about Tyler and I liked where it said,” Just look over there and you'll find a pecan tree.”

I will share the second reason why I liked the book. This place the book is talking about is Dallas. I really enjoyed this part, because I visited Dallas. I could tell you Dallas is a huge city. Dallas is called the  “Big D.” Every year Dallas has a huge event called the State Fair. When you enter to the State Fair they say, “Howdy!” Did you know Dallas has a lot of markets and shopping? I think ya'll might want to go to Dallas!

Stephen F.  Austin was named after the Father of Texas? The capitol of Austin was named after Stephen F. Austin. This is incredible, but the capitol of Austin is higher than the capitol in Washington D.C.

I really enjoyed this book because I learned facts that I did not know. I would recommend this book if you want to know more facts about Texas. I honestly believe you will enjoy this book filled with vivid illustrations and wonderful facts. I hope you will check this book out soon!


By ALLI KENNINGTON

Recently, my class had the opportunity to read the book ''Our Texas''! The book is by Jackie Mims Hopkins. The illustrations are by Craig J Spearings.

“Our Texas” gives information about Texas and its many towns. It also is in a poem format. It gives great details on Texas and the towns in Texas.

As an opinion, my favorite part is the illustrations. They are very realistic!

Now, let me share with you some of my other favorite parts of the book.

One interesting place is the city of Austin. It was named after Stephen F. Austin (sometimes referred as the ''The Father of Texas'').

Another place I enjoyed reading about is Dallas. In 1841 a guy named John Neely Bryan found Dallas.

Finally, I adored reading about Houston. I like Houston because of the illustrations.They are unbelievable to me because they are just very realistic!!!

I really enjoyed this book deeply!!

If you like Texas and want to learn about its many adventures, you will definitely love this book. I know you will like this book just as much as I do! I hope you will get the chance to explore this book and the adventures it will take you on. I know I did!  I am very delighted that my class and I got to actually read “Our Texas”!!!! Oh, and before I leave I just want to tell you that on the inside of the book it shows you a map that has all the places the book talks about!!! Maybe you can go to the many special places that Texas has!!!

 

By JESSICA MARES

Recently, our class had a chance to read an awesome book about Texas. The title of this book is ''Our Texas''. It was written by Jackie Mims Hopkins and was illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

Let me share a little about this book with you. When I started to read the book, I was amazed! I never knew there was so much information about Texas. This book included cool and stunning places like Tyler, San Antonio, Dallas, as well as many other places.

One place the book talked about is the Piney woods. In the Piney Woods, there used to be Caddo Indians living there. They hunted for food in these dense forests. They also planted vegetables like corn, beans, pumpkin and squash. The book also talks about Dallas. The book says that Dallas is also known as the “Big D''. The “Big D'' has a state fair every year. Dallas also has a Dallas Market Center. It is the largest wholesale trading complex in the world. Anyone could go on a shopping spree here! In San Antonio, you will find great historical sites to visit including the Alamo! A person could learn so much from just this one place. You might also want to visit the famous River Walk while in San Antonio.

There is so much more information inside this book, but you will have to find out yourself by reading the book. Overall, I really enjoyed this book because of the vast information that it has. I really believe that you will enjoy this book too. This book would be great for people of all ages. Anyone who likes to learn new and interesting things about Texas would really enjoy this book.


By JUAN MONTERROSO

I was so excited to get the opportunity to read the book “Our Texas”! It was written by Jackie Mims Hopkins and illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

This book is really good because it tells a lot of facts about Texas. It also is in poem format.

The book gives a lot of details of what you might see in different areas of Texas. It really is a great read. If you don't believe me wait until you see it. I think you will like the illustrations as well as I did.

My favorite place in the book was when it talked about San Antonio. Did you know that San Antonio is mostly known because that's where the soldiers of the Alamo stood? The Alamo failed that day which was sad for the people who fought. Now when people go to San Antonio, people stop and honor the people who fought.

Another place that the book discussed was San Jacinto. In San Jacinto stands the world's tallest war memorial which is 570 ft. It is called the San Jacinto monument. Remember, this is where Sam Houston said, “Remember the Alamo!” That day will never be forgotten. This part in San Jacinto is where Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna.

Another part in the book was Gonzales. This is where the first battle of the Texas Revolution happened. Here, you will also find the cannon called “Come and Take It”. It is still standing in Gonzales.

As you can see, I really did like it and I hope you will too. I really believe you will enjoy the illustrations as well as all of the interesting facts. When you read this book, you will explode from the excitement that you will have!

I would like to thank the readers for reading my review of the book “Our Texas”.

 

By McKENSI MOWAT

One day, I was surprised to find out that we were going to read the book “Our Texas”. The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins. The Illustrator was Craig j. Spearing. This book gives information about Texas.

When people read this book they will need to know that this book is in poem format. I also like the way they did the bright illustrations. And the way the pictures are really vivid because they give great detail.

I will share with you some of the things that this book talks about. One thing that the book taught me was that there are only a few armadillos in Amarillo.

San Antonio is where a lot of men took their stand at the Alamo.

Another area in Texas that was talked about was the Piney Woods. This is where the Caddo once lived and their aim was peace.  So they called themselves the Tayshas and that is how our state got its name.

Gonzales was where the Texas revolution had their first battle.

When the book talked about Dallas, I think I made a connection because I have been to Dallas more than ten times.

Another interesting fact that I learned was that Houston was the home of the world's largest concentration of the medical professionals. I also found out that it is the fourth largest city in the whole United States.

I am going to tell you some more things I learned from the story.

Tyler's nickname is the Rose Capital because Tyler is in the rose industry.

Big Bend National Park is where the Rio Grande, which is in El Paso, formed international boundaries between the United States and Mexico.

Did you know that Austin has the largest bat colony in the United States! The bats live under the Congress Avenue Bridge.

By hearing all of this, who wouldn't want to read this book to learn more about the Lone Star State?


By VICKY MURILLO

I was so excited when I found out that there is a book that talks about our Lone Star State. When I first saw the book I realized it was written in poem format.

The title of this book is “Our Texas”.

The author of this book is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

This book also has bright, detailed illustrations.

I will discuss with you some of the places that are in the book.

The book talks about Houston. Houston's nickname is Space City because of NASA'S Space Center. It was established in 1961. Houston is also the fourth largest city in the U.S. It is home of the largest concentration of the medical professionals.

Another place that I found interesting is Tyler. Its nickname is the Rose Capital of America. The nation's largest municipal rose garden is in Tyler. It also hosts the Texas Rose Festival every October.

The third city I found interesting in the book was Dallas. Dallas has more shopping centers than you could count! Dallas also hosts the State Fair every year. When people step foot onto the fair ground, a fifty- two- foot- tall cowboy with a seventy- five- gallon hat will welcome you with a “Howdy”! Dallas is also known as the “Big D” or “O'er yonder”.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn   new things about Our Lone Star State.

But overall, I liked this book because it   gives   a lot of facts about the beautiful state of Texas!


By CONNOR O’BRYAN

I was so excited when I found out that we were going to read a book called “Our Texas”. The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig T. Spearing.

The illustrations were just so cool! They knocked my socks off!

My favorite part was Ft. Worth.  Ft. Worth is so interesting to me because it has so many facts about the people and the history there. In keeping Ft. Worth's nickname cow town, everyday cowhands drive longhorns down Ft. Worth's Avenue.

Even though there were many places discussed in this book, I will share a few facts about three famous cities.

Did you know that in 1841, a man named Neely Bryan founded the city Dallas? Dallas is also called the “Big D”.

Another fact that was mentioned is that in 1971, a man named Douglas A. Lawson found the radius of a pterodactyl in Big Bend National Park. Big Bend National Park is Located in West Texas on an immense bend of the Rio Grande.

In the Rio Grande Valley, the largest city is Brownsville. Brownsville is also the southernmost city in Texas. That's really cool!

It also has facts from Brownsville, Tyler, and Austin. In Tyler, the nickname is the Rose Capital because of it being a rose-growing industry.

When the book talks about Austin, I learned that Austin is the State Capital. The Capital building is literally taller than the national capital in Washington, DC.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book because it has awesome facts about Texas. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Texas History.

This would even be a great book for anyone who just loves to read!


By MATTHEW PEGUES

Recently our class read the book “Our Texas”, which was great. The author's name is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator's name is Craig J. Spearing.

In the book there was tons of information. For instance, I learned that the  state Gemstone is the Blue Topaz. My favorite part of the book is when it talked about Dallas, which some people call the “Big D”. I like this part because I have been there before.

If you like Texas facts and history, then you will love this book.

If you read on, I will give you some great facts from the book about Tyler, Dallas, and Austin.

Tyler has a nickname and its nickname is the Rose Capital of America. This is because of its huge role in growing roses. Did you know that Tyler and Smith County have roses shipped all over the world? Well, they do! Also, the city was named after President John Tyler. The reason why is because of his great support in getting Texas into the United States.

The book also states that in 1841, John Neely Bryan, when he was in a single cabin on the Trinity River, founded Dallas. Every year Dallas has the incredible State Fair. When visitors enter the State Fair they are greeted with a “Howdy” from Mr. Big Tex. He is a fifty-two foot tall cowboy! He has a seventy-five gallon hat and size seventy pair of cowboy boots.

One of the best, and I mean the best attractions at the fair is the Texas Star, Which is the largest Ferris known in the Western Hemisphere.

The city of Austin is named after the great Stephen F. Austin. Did you know that he began the Anglo-American colonization of Texas that lead to 8,000 people?  Austin is also the State Capital. The capital is also bigger than the capital in DC.

If you like Texas history and facts, then you will love this book.

I mean I'm not the biggest fan of history and I still loved it.


By YASANDRA PRECIADO

I was so excited when I found out that we were going to read a book about Texas. The title of this book is “Our Texas”. The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins, and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

Jackie Mims Hopkins wrote this book in poem format.  That is not all! It also tells about many places in Texas.

Let me share with you some of my favorite parts of the book.

The Harison rose is very beautiful and colorful. You will find the Harison rose in Tyler. Tyler's nickname is the Rose Capital. Roses grown in Tyler and Smith County are shipped all over the world.

Now I will tell you about the Alamo. The Alamo is in San Antonio. Did you know that the word Alamo is a Spanish word that means “Poplar tree” or “cottonwood tree”?

Now I am going to tell you about my favorite place in the book! Corpus Christi is my favorite part of this book. In Corpus Christi, when the sun shines on the bay, it starts to sparkle! You might even be able to spot a dolphin or a whelk!

I hope that you will get to read this book for yourself. If you do not know a lot about Texas this is a good book to read.

Now I am done telling you about my favorite places of the book.

After reading this book I have learned a lot of new things about Texas. I can recommend this book to anyone who likes to learn or read about Texas. To find out more facts of different places in Texas, you just have to read the book.

This book was really enjoyable to read, and I hope you get to read the book soon.


By GARRISON ROLLER

My class read a book called “Our Texas”. The author of this book is Jackie Mims Hopkins and it was illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

This book tells about different places in Texas. It also gives facts about these places. The book also tells many facts about the history of Texas. The illustrations in this book are awesome!

My favorite place that was mentioned in the book was Fort Worth. This is because my grandparents live there. Did you know that Fort Worth's nickname is Cow town? The reason why is because cowhands drive Texas Longhorn cattle down Fort Worth's Exchange Avenue.

I live close to Dallas which is another place the book talked about. I go there a lot. It says that John Neely Bryan founded the city of Dallas on the Trinity River with a single cabin in 1841. How cool is that?

I went to San Antonio last summer and the book also tells about San Antonio. Many shops and restaurants line the walkways of the River Walk. Another place that you might want to visit in San Antonio is the historical site of the Alamo!

Not far from Tyler is the Piney Woods which is another place mentioned in the book. Caddo Indians lived in this region. They grew corn, beans, and other things. They hunted in the dense forest and farmed in the clearings.

These are just a few places that were mentioned in this book. If you like Texas, you will love this book! This is a really good book because it tells things about our great Lone Star State!

I really hope you get a chance to read this book. I firmly believe that you won't regret it!


By TREY SIMS

One day I was surprised to hear that we were going to write a review about a book called “Our Texas” by author Jackie Mims Hopkins illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

The book gave me enjoyment for many reasons. Let me share a few of them with you.

One of the places that the book talks about is San Antonio. I love the river walk with the shops and restaurants next to It. There also was a great battle there. “Fight for the Alamo!”

Houston is pretty amazing to me. NASA is stationed there. Not to mention that Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S.A.

As you can see, this book has the facts and details you might need.

My favorite part is Dallas. I have been there hundreds of times. I love big cities and their lights! There are many gigantic buildings in Dallas. The Mavericks play there too! Also, the book states that Dallas is well known for its state fair.

If you love learning about Texas then this book is for you. Anything that's about Texas is in this book.

Before I close this review, I want to give you a couple of more facts.

This one is about Tyler. Its nickname is the Rose Capital of America. It has a rose festival each October. It has forty thousand rose bushes, including the famous yellow rose of Texas. The rose is called Hairsons's Yellow. The city of Tyler was named after President John Tyler.

Our state tree is the pecan tree. Former governor James Hogg loved it so much that he wanted a pecan tree planted near his grave when he died.

The book tells facts from big cities to old country towns. The facts date from the old 1800s to the 2000s.

The book goes from back in the Alamo days and up to the present day.

So now it is time to wrap up this review. I hope you can check this book out sometime.

Tootles!


By LUCY MACHEL WALTERS

Just so you know our class read the book, “Our Texas”.

It is a soul gripping story! It tells about Texas' past and present. It also tells about the many cities and towns you will  find in Texas.

The author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and it was Illustrated by Craig J. Spearing.

A thing you need to know is that Texans talk Western, so let's start.

If ya'll like books about Texas, I guarantee ya'll will love this.

We learned about cities like my personal favorite, Tyler. Tyler is known for its great Harison's rose.

O'er yonder is Dallas, some call it “the Big D”. In Dallas there is shopping, but remember the State Fair is where “Big Tex” awaits.

The book also talks about Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, you will see longhorns that rumble along Chisolm trail. It's also where cowboys and cowgirls compete.

In the Panhandle is Amarillo. In Amarillo, there are plenty of cattle, but not many armadillo.

The book also mentions the Grand Canyon of Texas. This  is something to go miles to see. With luck you might spot the horned toad there!

In Houston, the city has NASA and its astronauts whose mission control over sees from the sky.

Well I did it! I have given you some of the facts from the book about Texas' great cities.

If you think books about facts are great, “Our Texas” will prove to knock the others out of the park!


By JESSICA WILLIAMS

Recently, our class read the book “Our Texas”.  The author of this book is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

This book is about the many cities in Texas. Each page is about a different place. It is also in poem format. The illustrations are excellent as well. The colors are so vivid!

My two favorite parts in the book were the pages about Kingsville and Corpus Christi.

The reason they are my favorite is because at Kingsville you can find cattle. This brand of cattle is called Santa Gertrudis. You can find these cattle at The King Ranch.

In Corpus Christi, you can find many dolphins either in the aquarium or by the bay. You may also see whelks. These are only a few things you may find at Corpus Christi.

One more place you can find in Texas that the book talks about is Fort Worth. In Fort Worth, you can easily find rodeos and you can also buy Longhorns there.

Yet another place that the book discusses is Dallas. This is also known as the “Big D”. In Dallas you can find a state fair that is held every year. As you enter the Dallas State Fair, you will see Big Tex waiting to greet you! You can also find the Dallas Market Center in Dallas.

As you can see, this book discusses many important as well as interesting facts about Texas.

So, if you like Texas History, you should check this book out. I really believe that you will truly enjoy this book.


By JESUS ZARCO

One day, I was so surprised to find out that we were going to read a book about Texas. The book`s author is Jackie Mims Hopkins and the book’s illustrator is Craig J. Spearing.

I really enjoyed this book because it had many interesting facts about Texas. Here are some of the reasons why I liked this book so much.

I enjoyed the beautiful, bright illustrations.

There were also many interesting facts about Texas that I hadn't ever heard of.

Like Dallas, I always get excited when we go to the Dallas State Fair. One of my favorite parts of the State Fair is when Big Tex welcomes you and says “Howdy”. He stands fifty-two feet tall. That's enormous!

Another place the book discussed was Houston. Did you know that Houston is the fourth largest city in our entire U.S.? Houston must be humongous to be in the top five largest cities.

I didn't know that Houston has its own NASA. I've gone to Houston a billion times, but never knew that Houston had NASA.

Yet another place is Austin. Austin is named after a person called Stephen F. Austin who brought over more than eight thousand people. He was truly a hero to Texas.

Did you know that Amarillo is nicked named the Yellow Rose of Texas? Amarillo is home of plenty of cattle but not armadillo. I thought that there would be a billion armadillos because of how it is spelled.

Let me tell you about Fort Worth. The book said that Fort Worth is a major trading post for cattle. I didn't know that Fort Worth has a National Cowgirl Museum and a Hall of Fame.

Tyler is also mentioned in the book. Tyler is very beautiful place. I admire the beautiful roses and flowers. Tyler's nickname is The Rose Capital of America. It is called The Rose Capital of America because there are all kinds of beautiful, amazing flowers to see.

All of these reasons tell you why Texas is the most beautiful place to live!

This book was truly awesome, and I hope you will get the chance to read it!

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Editor's Note: Of all the "off site" projects I've worked on, this one was the most enjoyable. I am all for anything that encourages youngsters to discover the magic of reading. Having a publisher agree to partner with us and donate the books was encouraging, while Mrs. Sickles' enthusiam for the enterprise added icing to the cake. Her students are lucky. She is a joy to work with. Our newsroom had a great time reading the reviews as they came in through the website. Some of Sickles' students have a real flair for expressing themselves. Kudos to Cindy Roller and News-Telegram photographer Luis Noble for their contributions.
Brava to everyone. Let's do it again.
 

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