"Hello, America!" covers different American landmarks and the title I was sent for review is Ellis Island. I'm going to say up front that I don't care for it and won't be purchasing this series. I think there are some subjects that can work for younger kids and some that need to be introduced when they're older and can appreciate the complexities and this is one of them.
The opening title page has a picture of the signboard of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. This is the only mention of the fact that Ellis Island if now a museum. Black and white photos show European immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, being checked for health, showing their papers, and then a picture of contemporary kids at the end accompanied by the text "America is our home!". There are four pictures of sites at the museum and a brief picture glossary.
There are some major issues with this book. Contemporary photos of museum visitors are mixed with old black and white photos. Adults will understand the difference, but many kids will not. The contemporary kids are diverse, which is extremely misleading - no mention is made of Angel Island (where most Asian immigrants entered the United States), slavery, or the border between the US and Mexico and yet kids whose ancestors may well have experienced all of these are pictured. The book doesn't have scope to mention the complexities of the USA's history of immigration. The upbeat text, paired with the pictures of clearly frightened and miserable immigrants is disconcerting to say the least and no mention is made of negative experiences, prejudice against European immigrants, or what happens to the people without papers or who were unhealthy. This topic is simply too complex to be introduced to young kids in this simplistic format. If the book had focused solely on the museum and left out the pictures of contemporary kids and black and white photos it might have been better.
Verdict: While I appreciate Jump's effort at adding diversity and covering many different topics, I think these series are not suitable for the limited scope of their Bullfrog imprint. Not recommended.
Meals in Vietnam
Published 2016 by Bullfrog/Jump; Review copies provided by publisher