Growing up as a young child I went to Arizona every summer to visit my Grandma. She lived in a small town just North of the Mexico border. To my mind, Arizona is the place of cactus, the OK Corral, and kachinas. Those are my memories of Arizona, oh and probably somewhat questionable shopping trips across the border where my brother got a bullwhip at six years old. I wanted to capture some of that with my Arizona books from our library. I did for the most part, but I never found a good book with Kachina dolls, though I found a few with the mythology which made me happy.
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Nonfiction Arizona picture books
- Petrified National Forest– This was more for inspiration than for actual reading, but I always like this series.
- Saguaro National Park– Same series, still a good book
- The Hopi– I checked out several books in this series, the next book I got better use out of.
- The Zunis– This provided great information about one of the local tribes in the area. If I really wanted to just studying the different American Indian tribes in the area could take up several weeks of study. The title is linked to the activity we did with this. Zuni Kachina Mask project
- The Grand Canyon– This is a good introduction type book. It covers why it’s important and what you’ll see there. I loved the pictures and information in it.
- Grand Canyon: Exploring a Natural Wonder– Another great book about the Grand Canyon, it inspired an activity I still want to do, but haven’t gotten a chance to do yet…
- Cactus Hotel– This is one of those odd ones that is covering nonfiction material, but might be categorized as fiction because of the way it’s written. I’ve got plans to use sandpaper to make a cactus and all that.
Fiction Arizona Picture books
Mule Train Mail– A great book detailing how one village in Arizona gets mail still today, a mule train.
Is My Friend At Home– I love traditional tales. It interests me to see each culture’s traditional tales, and this book gave us a great insight into Pueblo culture.
Warrior Maiden– A young girl has to find a way to protect her village when Apache warriors attack.
Possum’s Wild West Adventure– I really liked this as a short read-aloud sort of chapter book. It’s not divided up into chapters, but it takes about 30-45 minutes to read aloud (depending on how many questions your kids ask). They loved it, but were disappointed when some of the cowboys were the bad guys at the end of the story. Tombstone project
Kate Heads West– we had fun mapping where Kate went, though her adventures were not limited to Arizona.
The Secret of the Circle-K Cave– My kids liked this cave much better than the one we visited. It does a good job of presenting fun information and a small mystery. >> This one is more New Mexico, but here’s the exploring caves activity inspired by this book.
How the Stars Fell Into the Sky– My kids loved this one and we talked about it a lot. I also saw a lot of parallels between what Christians believe about the fall of man and how the Navajo explained it. So, we discussed that a bunch. This is another one that I have an art activity planned. I just need to get those little gold stars for it.
Little Gold Star– We’ll be reading this soon, so no review of it yet. I’ll update once we have.
Don’t Call Me Pig– I think I got this as my book from New Mexico on the trip, and this book is part of what convinced me to study both at once. Both states were trying to claim it as “local interest.”
Night Dancer– We all agreed this was fun and wanted to try dancing like that