By Kaitlin Trahan, intern
Anyone that has been to Texas knows that this state has a distinct culture and sense of pride that sets it apart from the others. Urban and rural areas are immersed in a southern way of living with a deep affinity for our history. In elementary and intermediate school, children take classes to learn about our state’s symbols and heritage. With that in mind, H is for Howdy and Other Lone Star Letters is a great introduction for the littlest Texan to learn about our culture, history, and a new spin on the alphabet at an early age. Bright Sky Press’s latest children’s alphabet book is filled with fun illustrations that match the different Texas facts and themes that bring each letter to life. Each page is easy to read with rhymes that make each letter flow into the next. The text includes famous images such as the Alamo, Davy Crockett, the Rodeo, and all of our state symbols. Eva Freeburn and Lawson Gow use southern animals to reflect our appreciation for livestock, while projecting Texan culture and attitudes. For example our motto is friendship, which is mentioned throughout the book. At a young age I was taught to be kind and polite to others regardless of our differences. The sense of southern hospitality is passed down from generations of Texas families that emphasize the importance of appropriate behavior and good manners. Being a student on a diverse college campus, I hear all sorts of feedback from students that grew up outside of Texas. They will comment on the noticeable pride we have for our state, but also the warmth and friendliness we have toward others. Texas is a wonderful state, and truly shines in this book. From the way we say “hello” to the friendly sentiment behind the popular use of “y’all,” this book encourages children to demonstrate comradery and inclusion to all. H is for Howdy is the perfect starting off point for children to familiarize themselves with everything Texas so that they can better understand our background and immense pride for the Lone Star State. In addition to the original print, Bright Sky Press gives you the option of buying an interactive coloring book so children can bring the illustrations to life. I wish I had this when I was younger! I guess I will just have to settle with buying H is for Howdy for all of the little Texans I know for Christmas this year, and you should too!