U is to Utopia: Texas Hill Country ABCs
by Diane Causey
Trafford Publishing

"M is for Mountains, though some prefer hills for a name. It's these pretty humps that give the Texas Hill Country its fame."

Causey created a unique picture book of ABCs, where each letter of the alphabet stands for something associated with the beautiful Texas Hill Country. The author is a fifth generation Texas Hill Country resident and a retired educator.

Each letter of the alphabet is assigned to something that is typical for the Hill Country. For example, J stands for jackrabbit, R is for rodeo, and G is for Garner State Park, among others. All the descriptions are presented in rhyme, which makes it easier for children to remember and for educators and parents to read out loud. The short rhymes do not just entertain, but they also teach the reader a little bit of history along the way. For example, readers learn that in the days of the Calvary, the soldiers rode camels, not horses, and many other interesting tidbits.

The book’s glossy cover features an attractive photograph of a young girl riding a horse and carrying the American flag, which ties in well with the book's contents. The illustrations, from Bertie Salazar, seem to be done in colored pencil and are quite detailed and pleasing to the eye. The illustrator uses a lot of greens, yellows, browns, and other natural colors that portray well the nature of the Hill Country. Perfect for educators, parents, children, and anyone else who wants to learn more about the Texas Hill Country.

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