Booking Across the USA- Illinois and a GIVEAWAY #1

Illinois Picture Book and Activity

Welcome to the Booking Across the USA collaborative blogging project.  Over 50 bloggers have teamed up to showcase a book and activity from every state in America.  I’m excited to share about the great state of Illinois!  For a complete list of bloggers representing the other states, please click here.

Illinois Book:  Pizza Pie In The Sky:  A Story About Illinois

The book I chose to feature is Pizza Pie In The Sky: A Story About Illinois by Karen Latchana Kenney.  This a fact and fable book about a Monarch butterfly (IL state insect) who is trying to find her way south to catch up with the other migrating butterflies.  During her journey, she travels across the state of Illinois learning lots of facts about the state.  On the sidebar of each page, you will find a photograph and factual information about important landmarks and symbols of the state.  A comprehension check is included at the end of the story.  You will also find a suggested list of places to visit and a glossary to support readers.

This story would be at the interest level of  K-4th grade students and appropriate for 3rd grade readers.

Pizza Pie In the Sky:  A Story About Illinois was my first introduction to the ABDO Publishing Company and the Super Sandcastle State Stories series.  You will find fact and fable stories about many other states including : New York, Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Missouri and more!

Literacy Activity:  Illinois Board Game

After reading the story, I had the idea of creating an Illinois game board to review the facts in the story plus a few more fun tidbits about the state.  This game board idea could easily be adapted for any state you are studying.

state board game

Materials Needed:

 1/2 piece of foam board, piece of cardboard or blank game board (I like these from Bare Books.)

an outline of the state of Illinois or you could free-hand your own

markers or crayons


2 pennies (Abraham Lincoln lived in IL and is on the head of a penny!)

1 die

6 index cards

Glue or draw an outline of the state in the middle of your board.  Around the state, draw your playing path.  Try to get at least 25 spaces.  Mark 4-6 spaces with special directions such as “move ahead 1 space” or “go back to start”.  Cut your index cards in half and write an “Illinois Game Cards” statement on each card.

You are ready to play!  Place one penny heads up and one tails up on the “START” space.  Each player rolls the die and moves their playing piece accordingly.  A card is picked and read each turn.  First player to make it around the board wins.

For a deeper learning experience, have your child design their own board and questions!

Now, let’s move on to that fabulous giveaway opportunity!


We are very excited to offer a GIVEAWAY today to go along with the Booking Across the USA project.  Little Passports is a super fun way for your child to learn about the USA. It’s recommended for ages 7-12.  Every month, Sam and Sofia travel to two new states.  In the mail each month, your child will receive a package of learning adventures and games.  Little Passports offers different subscription packages based on your needs.  They even have a world passport collection too.  Little Passports has graciously agreed to give a 3-month subscription of the USA Little Passports to one lucky Growing Book by Book reader!


To enter the giveaway for a 3-month subscription of the USA Little Passports you will need to either “Like” Little Passports on Facebook OR sign up for The Little Passports Newsletter.  After you have done either one of these, simply leave a comment on this post telling us which one you did.  That’s it!  You have until 3/3/13 at 9:00p.m. (CST) to enter.  One entrant (must be 18 years or older) will be randomly drawn and announced on Growing Book By Book the week of 3/3/13.  The winner will also receive an email and has 48 hours to respond with a mailing address.  If the information is not sent by the deadline, another entrant will be selected.  Good luck!

Don’t forget to visit the other participating bloggers in the Booking Across the USA project.  You may also be interested in my Booking Across the USA Pinterest page.

Thanks for reading!  I would love for you to subscribe to our RSS Feed, like us on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest.

Please see the linky directory at the bottom of the page to see where this post has been linked.

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. I liked Little Passports on Facebook. What a neat looking program!

  2. I signed up for their newsletter. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Hi Jodie,

    Thanks for hosting this fun event. I’ve made a goal to go through all the states with my kids, so I’m excited to have so many great resources to get us started!

  4. Jodie, Thank you for pulling this all together. We may not get to all the states this year, but the resources this event is providing is wonderful. thinking your book will be good to pull when we do our year monarch study. Developing an understanding of home/town/state/country is helped when there is a common interest point.

  5. Kristina @ SchoolTimeSnippets says:

    I will definitely look out for that book at our library! Sounds like such a cute learning resource!!

  6. I Liked Little Passports on Facebook (Becky Flansburg). Our son is really struggling with learning about the states so this would help out tremendously.

  7. Hi, Jodie! Your game is adorable. Looks like you put a lot of effort into it! I’m not going to enter the giveaway, but my daughters both received a three-month subscription to Little Passports over the holidays (one to the USA edition and one to the international edition). It’s a fantastic product!

  8. I signed up for the newsletter. Thanks for leading me to their site.

  9. Ashley Reed says:

    I liked them on Facebook. I love this amazing collaboration. Thank you all!!

  10. Rachel Muniz says:

    I liked you on FB and signed up for the newsletter! This is too cool!

  11. I liked them on Facebook! I found Booking Across the USA through Pinterest and I’m so glad I did – can’t wait for my daughter to do state projects at school now!

  12. kelly tillotson says:

    i like little passports on facebook. im following you on pinterest, and im looking forward to all the other bloggers state books and activities! thank you!!

  13. I signed up for the Little Passports newsletter…they seem like a neat company, so I’m looking forward to learning more! Thanks!

  14. I signed up for the newsletter. Thanks for the chance.

  15. I liked Little Passports on FB.

  16. I liked Little Passports on FB!

  17. I signed up for their newsletter.Thank you for the giveaway.

  18. I signed up for the newsletter on little passports-looks like a terrific program! Hope I win!

  19. What a great idea for teaching geography! I liked Little Passports on FB.

  20. I liked Little Passports on Facebook – what a fantastic program 🙂 My family would love to try it!

  21. Just liked Little Passports on facebook- that looks like an awesome program!!! 🙂

  22. Honeybelles says:

    Liked them on facebook 🙂

  23. I like Little Passports on Facebook as Dianne Downs Osmun.

  24. Karyn Lowe says:

    When I can’t decide, I say do both. I love the fscebook page and can’t wait to get the newsletter.

  25. I Like Little Passports on Facebook.

  26. I just liked on facebook. Cannot believe I had not before:) One of these days I will find out about one of these group blogger opps and be apart of one!

  27. I liked them on facebook and signed up to receive their newsletter. This looks like a fabulous resource. Thanks for the chance to win.

  28. Mary Christine says:

    I liked Little Passports on Facebook. Thanks for a great giveaway!

  29. liked Little Passports on FB

  30. I like Little Passports on Facebook!

  31. Heather S. says:

    I like Little Passports on Facebook: Heather Schonrock Lyons
    hschonrock at yahoo dot com

  32. Danielle Porter says:

    I like them on FB. 😉

  33. I liked Little Passports on Facebook.

  34. Thanks so much for hosting this amazing event.

    The book you shared sounds really interesting! And I love the activities. Great post!

  35. Liked Little Passports on FB!

  36. tina reynolds says:

    I signed up for the newsletter I would love for my oldest

  37. So sad to see that DC was left out of your booking across the USA! Especially sad since it is the capitol of our country 🙁 I know we are a district and not technically a state, but we’re still an important and interesting place!

    Loved the booking across America though and enjoyed going to and learning about each state.

    Mrs. J

  38. Jennifer Shelton says:

    “Liked” on Facebook 🙂
    Jennifer Shelton

  39. Annette Rosenberg says:

    I “liked” them on Facebook, thank you!

  40. I liked on FB!

  41. Miranda Gonzalez says:

    I liked Little Passports on FB. Thanks for the chance to win!

  42. Liked little passports on facebook!

  43. Suzie Williams says:

    I like Little Passports on FB.

  44. I like Little Passports on FB.

  45. Thanks for the giveaway, I likes them on facebook 🙂

  46. I did both! 🙂 I’ve been a subscriber of theirs for a while, so I liked their FB page for this giveaway. 🙂 Thanks for hosting!

  47. Nichol Tone says:

    Liked little passports on fb

  48. I followed little passports on Facebook. Thanks for the giveaway!

  49. I like Little Passports on Facebook! I had no idea they offered a package for states! Cool!

  50. Jayme Hennessy says:

    I liked Little Passports on facebook. My facebook user id url is

  51. Facebook like Michele Daley

  52. I signed up for their newsletter with
    Thank you so much, little passports is a really neat subscription box and looks like lots of fun!

  53. FB: Lagean Ellis

  54. Kevin E says:

    I “liked” Little Passports on Facebook.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  55. I “liked” on facebook. This seems like a really neat program!

  56. Nichole says:

    Follow on FB. Thanks!

  57. Terri Moore says:

    I’m a Facebook fan of Little Passports.
    terri.moore 30 at yahoo dot com

  58. I LOVE Little Passports on FB.

  59. Nicole Lancaster says:

    I liked Little Passports on Facebook as Nicole Lancaster.

  60. Savannah miller says:

    I liked them on facebook thank you so much for this amazing giveaway 🙂

  61. I signed up for the newsletter.


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