Annie Mouse’s Route 66 Adventure
Author: Anne Maro Slanina
Road Trips are fun when the entire family comes along. Annie the Mouse and her family are about to embark on a cross-country trip through eight of our beautiful states. Guess what? You get to come along as Annie and her family discuss their trip, check out the travel map, mark off their states and get ready for a fun time. Bring your camera along and make sure it is charged up before leaving. Take your seat in the back of the car and here we go. Annie and her family are going on their Route 66 Adventure and you have your camera with you but do you have your notepad and a pen? You might want to record the interesting facts presented in this book, jot down the many historical places that you and Annie will visit plus carrying your own map might be great so you can show all of your friends where you have been when you get home.
Although this book is about Annie and her family it is definitely geared to children in the middle grades, teachers that want to use it for geography and history lessons that focus on the United States. The book will help students appreciate and learn more about our country. Get those cameras ready, make sure the flashbulbs work in dark and inside the many exhibits you are going to see. Author Anne Maro Slanina makes he trip really come alive by sharing her original photos of her own trip with readers. But, let’s not forget the great illustrations drawn by Kelsey Collins who brings Annie and her family to life.
Let’s being our journey. I am your tour guide and I will tell you about the many places that you are going to visit and just a little about them. But, to learn the rest you will have to read the book for yourself and take the tour on your own or with a teacher or parent.
Our first stop is Joliet, Illinois Historical Museum. Get those cameras out as Annie and the reader learn more about Route 66 and where it beings and the interesting things that they see driving through Illinois. In Wilmington they see a tall Spaceman, the Polk-A-Dot-Diner is where they stopped for lunch. Inside they saw statues of famous movie stars and a real antique: A jukebox! Imagine seeing an old Pontiac care and my favorite a man with the largest hot dog. Their last stop in Illinois was the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and then off to St. Louis Missouri. Keep up everyone you do not want to miss a thing. In our guidebook you will learn that we are looking at the Gateway to the West, which has a Gateway Arch that is 630 feet tall. Wow! Can you imagine climbing up to the top of that? Next, Annie tells us that she and her family stopped at the Meramec Caverns. Check out the great pictures on page 13.
Along the way they stopped at The Munger Moss Motel in Lebanon, which Annie thought looked like a museum. How cool is that! Check out the photo on page 15 you will not be disappointed. In between the describes you see captions that tell what each child thought was great and what they was that what interested them. Like: Big Sister Jenny was the bowling pin high in the sky. Next, continuing on the stopped at the Historic Route 66 Antique Mall in Philipsburg where they saw many antiques on display. Love this part of the tour myself. Their last stop in Missouri was in Joplin. Imagine a school with a sign out front with a huge crayon and ruler. Next, they hoped to find Woody’s Wood Fire Pizza because her mother’s cousin Bob ate there and said it was great.
Kansas was next and only 13 miles down Route 66. IN Kansas there were tons to see like Baxter Springs and the Café they went to for dinner. To find out the uninvited guest who came to that Café read page 19. You won’t believe who it was. Next Annie and her family visited Oklahoma and saw the World’s Largest Totem Pole and then if you look at the cute photo on the bottom right hand corner of page 21 you might see the Sapula Drive In where they were served tons of delicious food and treats. Well, I guess Mommy likes antiques as much as your tour guide does because at Seaba Station they would see more including something no one wants to really use an Outhouse. Of course Annie really loved the Ann’s Fry House, which you can see on page 23. I wonder why? From Cherokee Trading Posts in El Reno to the Oklahoma Route 66 Museum this tour is chocked filed with history, antiques and great sights. Okay, so my favorite was the Rattlesnakes Sign, which you can see on page 27. But, since they are mice they drove really fast past that one and decided to stop at the Devil’s Rope Museum, which was, build as a tribute to Barbed Wire. Annie and her family were amazed at all of the different barbed wire sculptures.
I always wanted to visit an old fashioned General Store and seeing this one and the post office was great. It even had a tiny jail inside. Texas is next and they offered huge steaks lunch, for FREE: Oh Yeah: You had to eat it all. Annie saw the Cadillac Ranch and the cows that seemed to be having fun. There was so much to see that you will have to check out the photos on page 29 and 30 to see the rest that we saw in Texas because we are moving to New Mexico. Which road would her father take? Dirt 66, which is more scenic, or the newer paved one? Find out when you read it! Oh Dear: Annie left her camera in the car but our author took the pictures and you can see them on page 31 Annie. There next decision was which Motel to stay at and then on to Santa Rosa where they stopped at the Auto Museum. Annie tells everyone at the top of page 34 how excited and surprised she was to see an animal run across the road in front of her car. As a matter of fact her whole family was shocked.
There was and still is so much to see let’s go to Arizona where you can see Indian Trading Posts where Native American made items were sold. Believe it or not they even saw dinosaurs and teepees along the road and all of the children wanted their father to stop so they could get a better look. But, the real excitement was the Petrified Forest National Park in Holbrook and the World’s Larger Route 66 Map painted on the side of a building. See the author’s photos of the Grand Canyon on page 41 and the next few places that you can learn about on your own on pages 42 and 43. But, I think one of their favorite stops was Cousin Mary and Bob’s. They were so excited to meet them and share their great photos with them. So, take the tour with Annie and her family and find out all about the many places they visited and what happens when they meet their cousins and how they feel about doing this again. Check out the illustrations by Kelsey to really know how Annie and her sisters and brothers felt about the trip as she creates pictures and captions to make them all come alive. So, get in your car, RV or truck and take a trip across our great and beautiful country and maybe you will share your journey with Annie and her family too.
Fran Lewis: reviewer and tour guide. This was really fun.