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New York is English, Chattanooga is Creek
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New York is English, Chattanooga is Creek

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  68 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Suppose you are a


Yes, you, looking at this book.

Who named you







whatever your name is?

This book invites you to a big party with lots and lots of relatives, near and far, from all over tha nation.

These relatives will be glad to meet YOU!

Hardcover, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books (first published September 20th 2005)
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Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's a big party being planned by New York, and he plans on inviting many of his friends, such as El Paso, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Chattanooga.

These places have illustrations to depict who they are, complete with the background of how the city got its name. Interesting concept.
I liked the idea for this picture book better than its execution. The plot centers around snooty New York's decision to have a party and invite several other cities with unique names. There's a guest list at the front of the book with the names of the cities and their origin, making it easy for young readers to see that even this nation's place names have cultural significance and reveal just how diverse our origin was as well as how diverse we continue to be. The text seems a bit halting and aw ...more
Chris Evans
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
New York is English, Chattanooga is Creek is an older elementary/ middle school aged book by author Chris Raschka. This book has not won any awards but another book by this author has won the Caldecott medal. The story line of the book is that Ney York is having a party and inviting other cities and states. While it goes through the introductions, it tells where all the names are from. I enjoyed reading the book and learning the history of where we came up with names for the different parts of o ...more
Jun 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book takes the inspirations behind a handful of big city's names and invites all of the imagined personalities to a party.

The book begins with a list of characters (cities) and states the naming culture and the meaning of the name translated to English. I found this to be the most interesting part of the book and the story weaving all of their personalities together to be eh and a little repetitive.

Ink and watercolor illustrations are beautiful and really take into account the naming cultur
Aug 12, 2008 rated it really liked it
At first I thought this was a book of one idea: the rather kitschy personification of cities into individuals evocative of the city's original namers. Hence, "New York" becomes an English duke and "Minneapolis" becomes a Sioux maiden. Clever, yes. But I was unconvinced this was really that great a book.

However, all that changed when New York, who is English, decided to throw a party for all his friends...
Fisal Ansari
Jul 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Grades 6--YA


Native Indians, the Americas.

drawings of states and different places in North America.

Personal response:
Nice lesson on how diverse America really is and what the names of states really mean.

Curricular or programming connections:
Geography display of names and their meanings in a library setting.
Joanna Marple
Mar 09, 2014 rated it liked it
I loved the concept - the personification of many American cities with an explanation of their names' linguistic origins, but I felt the text sadly lacked in fluidity. It isn't an easy read-aloud, thought New York throwing a party for the other cities is humorous. This could still be a useful classroom text, though, for studying personification and the multicultural origins of the USA.
Jan 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
This could be more educational if it wasn't so forgettable. I feel there was a missed opportunity here. If the story itself was better laid out or especially if there was RHYMING, this could have been such a great book. The text reads stilted and there is an occasional rhyme which really throws you off because then you think it all should rhyme!
Brooke Devarennes
This book was a little weird. It was good enough to make the cut, however, it wouldn't be the first book I pick up. This is a good Social Studies book because it explains how cities names came to be and the country of origin. This also touches on multiple languages so it would be great for ESOL students.
Fiction, yet with non-fiction concepts. I never knew I could be so interested in the origin of city names. I just wish there was a bibliography or some type of informational page at the end of the book to help students do further research on the city names.
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-kid-lit
An amusing introduction into the meanings and backgrounds of the names of American cities. It might promote curiosity in students to research other names that are not in the book. I especially like that Chattanooga is included, since my school is in Tennessee.
May 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Not one of my favorites from Raschka, but the concept is engaging and the illustrations have his signature vibrancy.
Mar 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This one would have to be for older kiddos. It's got some tough vocabulary and there's a lot to look for in the illustrations. I thought it was a lot of fun to read, but a bit busy to look at.
Loved the concept of this picture book -- characters have city names and represent the many cultures that make up the USA. Just beautiful. My favorite Chris Raschka book yet!
Danielle Boccio
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
There was potential here, but it definitely fell short. My nine year-old didn't get it and, honestly, I didn't either.
Cat Fithian
Clever, but a bit repetitive. Illustrations are great.
Dulce Coronado
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Super cool book about the cities and how each got their name!!! I didn't know Chicago means stinky onions!!! Great book to read to kids!
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"I always try to treat the book itself as the artwork," Chris Raschka says. "I don't want you to stop while you're reading one of my books and say, 'Oh! What a gorgeous illustration!' I want you to stop at the end of the book and say, 'This is a good book.' "

Chris Raschka is one of those people who knew from an early age what he wanted to be when he grew up. "It was never a question in my mind,"
More about Chris Raschka...