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Chatty Belle, the World's Largest Talking Cow. The Mendota Monster. Apostles on Parade. The UFO Capital of the World. Romeo, the clown-stomping elephant. Car-washing octopi. Other travel guides suggest the same old scenic driving tours, homey bed-and-breakfasts, and the best fall foliage—Oddball Wisconsin offers offbeat travel destinations and little-known historical tidbits. Where was Liberace born? What is a hodag and where do you catch one? Who invented the hamburger? And will a Polka Hall of Fame ever be built? This is the guide to the real Wisconsin, birthplace of the snowmobile, the typewriter, and the ice cream sundae, home to Jimmy the Groundhog and home of the Rudolph Grotto and Wonder Cave—the state where people proudly wear the moniker “cheesehead.”
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Jerome Pohlen is an editor and educational writer and the author of Oddball Illinois. He lives in Chicago.
Similar to Michael Feldman's Wisconsin Curiosities (LJ 12/00), this second title in the "Oddball" series (following Oddball Illinois, also authored by Pohlen) documents such curiosities and wonders as the world's largest corkscrew, a concrete frog, the world of miniature buildings, and acrobatic goats. Travel writer and editor Pohlen known for his self-published "Cool Spots, USA" series, which consists of 22 volumes, each covering a different state intersperses among these offbeat tourist attractions more legitimate ones such as the Circus World Museum, the birthplace of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Taliesin, Frank Lloyd Wright's home and studio. The well-written description of each curiosity is both informative and humorous and is followed by an address, telephone number, hours, cost, directions, and web site. Libraries in Wisconsin should own both Pohlen and Feldman's guides; those in the Midwest and large public libraries with strong U.S. travel collections should consider purchasing at least one. [The next title in the series, "Oddball Indiana," is due out in next spring. Ed.] John McCormick, NH State Lib., Concord, N.
- John McCormick, NH State Lib., Concord, NH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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