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It's a February morning in Washington D.C.
William H. Taft is drinking his tea
and eating his pancakes (with very big bites),
while a crew in his office is setting up lights.

And so the scene is set for the events of February 14, 1912, the day Arizona becomes the 48th state!
See what happens that day in President Taft's office and at Governor Hunt's inauguration.
Join Arizona kids as they celebrate all across the state more than 100 years ago!

Learn fun and funny facts about President Taft, Governor Hunt, the Arizona state flag and nicknames. Find out why one town got the date wrong, and follow the time line for the long and difficult road to statehood.


Carl Erik opened his eyes
and looked around the strange room.
It was not a dream.
The long, hard journey from Sweden
was really over.
He was in Minnesota!

The long and difficult trip from Sweden has finally come to an end, but now new adventures and challenges await: Carl Erik must learn to speak and read English, and deal with the school bully and his own fears when he learns their nearest neighbors are Indians.

And when his father and uncle leave to work at the logging camp, Carl Erik has to become man of the house and help feed the family. Is he up to the task? Is he brave enough? Will he ever feel at home in this strange new land?


Monchi lives on an old fashioned ranch in Southern Arizona - in what used to be part of Mexico. His school has only twelve students, one room, and no electricity.

But Coyote School has a swell new teacher, a baseball team, and its own school newspaper, Coyote News, where the kids write about roundup, the piñata party, the rodeo parade, and the Perfect Attendance Award.

Click on the book's title to see one of the nine issues of Coyote News.


Carl Erik's father shook his fist
at the clear blue sky.
"Rain!" he cried.
"We must have rain!"

Not a drop of rain fell in Sweden all summer long that year of 1868. The crops didn't grow. There was no food for winter. Then a letter came from Uncle Axel in America:

"It is a new life for us here.
We have built our house.
Our land is good.
Come! We will help you.
Come to America!"


"Look, Carl Erik," said Jonas,
"the streets of America
are not paved with gold."

Carl Erik and his little brother Jonas have just arrived from Sweden on an emigrant boat. Together with their parents and baby brother, they are on their way from New York to Anoka, Minnesota.

The streets may not be paved with gold, but America is full of surprises - from New York's noisy streets to the rich farmlands of the Midwest.


Andrew named the little cub Bearly.
He fed him warm milk
and corn bread soaked in honey.

Andrew taught Bearly
to stand up on his hind legs.
He even learned to dance.

A photographer heard about Andrew's dancing bear, and he came a long way out to the Irwin farm to take a picture of him.

Bearly loved to perform, but where was he?


Every day was the same for Pablo's father. He woke up early, worked in his field and came home tired.
"Nothing ever happens," he said.

But then one day something happened - something that had never happened to two people anywhere in the world: a hill of fire began to grow in his cornfield!


Small Wolf lives with his family on the banks of a river.
One day he takes his canoe and sets out for the Island of Hills, (now we call it Manhattan.)

There he finds strange-looking white-faced people, and their even stranger animals. But the strangest thing about these people is they think they own the land!

What will Small Wolf and his family do about it?


"You're not doing it right,"
says Daniel's big brother,
when he sees the duck
that Daniel is carving.

But Daniel wants to do it his own way, with the head facing backward.

When spring comes, and his duck is exhibited at the town fair, he finds out the hard way what people think of his special carving.


Danny misses his pa.
He writes a letter asking him to come home for Christmas, but how will it ever get to him on the other side of the Sierra Nevada in winter?

Then the Norwegian, John Thompson, shows up.
He makes a pair of homemade skis, and sets off on a ninety-mile journey over the mountains in winter to deliver the mail!


There's a war on in María's country, El Salvador.
Her father can't find work to buy the things the family needs.

One day he loads up some of the family's furniture, clothes, and tools and goes to the market
to trade them for food. María goes with him.

María wishes she could help her father, but what can a little girl do?


During the fifteen years I lived in Stockholm I wrote and illustrated a number of books in Swedish.

The book on the left, Prärieungen, is one of my Swedish books.
The title means: Child of the Prairie: Anna Olsson's Childhood Memories.
I wrote it in Swedish, but it is set in Lindsborg, Kansas, a town founded by Swedish immigrants.


I also translate children's books from Swedish to English.
This is Christina Björk's Linnea in Monet's Garden, one of the dozens of books I've translated.




All text and art copyright © Joan Sandin. All rights reserved.
No text or image may be reproduced without the express written consent of the author/illustrator.