by Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Book: O is for Oklahoma (2013, WestWinds Press)
Authors: Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County
Why you should read: As if an alphabet book about the Sooner State wasn’t endearing enough, “O is for Oklahoma” kicks it up a notch with kid-authors. The children at Boys & Girls Club of Oklahoma County collaborated with club staff and volunteers, historian Dr. Bob Blackburn, photographer David Fitzgerald and Graphic Arts Books publishing to create the approximately 32-page book.
Each letter of the book represents something unique about Oklahoma, like “A” for Arbuckle Mountains, “G” for Great Salt Plains and “W” for Will Rogers. To elaborate on the subject, the kids wrote a poem for each letter, like “Q is for Quartz Mountain. These mountains are big, these mountains are tall. Three hundred million years old, they’ve seen it all!”
The idea behind this book is undoubtedly cute, though not all the letters are unique to Oklahoma — think “F” for farms, “L” for library and “Z” for zoo. Other letters offered little-known information about the state, like highlighting Native Americans or beautiful landmarks. Unfortunately, as catchy as some of the poems are, their brevity doesn’t leave room for substantive information. The editors do provide a page at the back that further explains each letter — though it’s not much help while you’re reading the book.
The accompanying photos and design are simple enough to be kid friendly, but don’t have enough intrigue to impress adults. At $13.99 the book isn’t a bad deal as a souvenir, but doesn’t offer much more beyond that. The book can be purchased at Full Circle Bookstore in Oklahoma City and ordered online. An e-book is also available online.