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Bay State geography lesson

Posted by Chris Murphy  December 7, 2007 12:22 PM

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Here’s a little stocking stuffer for kids with a geographic bent: ‘‘Nicholas: A Massachusetts Tale’’ by Peter Arenstam (Mitten Press, $14.95). The chapter book tells the story of a field mouse on a family quest across the Bay State. Along the way, he befriends a chipmunk and other creatures who not only do not eat him but also teach him something about the area he’s exploring (the Berkshires, Quabbin Reservation, Wachusett Mountain, Gloucester, Boston, Plymouth, and Martha’s Vineyard). The illustrations by Karen Busch Holman are elegant and sweet without being overly precious. (As non-precious as a book about a talking mouse can be, anyway.) It’s the first in a 4-part series of ‘‘Nicholas’’ books starring Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. (Sorry Rhode Island and Connecticut!)

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