Written by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Scholastic Press 2008

Our California is a lively tour of award-winning author and illustrator Pam Munoz Ryan and Rafael López’s home state. Spirited poems celebrate California’s major cities and regions. Back matter includes state symbols and additional information about each place. Bold paintings capture the exhuberant energy and spirit of the land.


“Lopez’s stylized, exuberant paintings make it clear why no other state in the continental U.S. has California’s magical pull on the popular imagination. Lopez’s illustrations, paintings rendered on wood and sometimes distressed, remain fresh and surprising as he finds ways to express wonder and affection. On some spreads he seems to be channeling the spirit of the great WPA and Mexican muralists; on others, he releases a more graphic-novel spirit, as in the depiction of a ’49er with a marvelously greedy glint in his eye. Beyond its obvious use in a classroom, this title is virtually certain to inspire California dreamin’ in readers of all ages”.

– Publisher’s Weekly 2007


“The art in this loving tribute to the state is so colorful, evocative, and eye-filling that it is tempting to review the title solely as a book of pictures. The illustrations, done in brilliant acrylics, fill each spread with a burst of folkloric color and energy”

– School Library Journal 2008


Read Across America Book Selection 2013