Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Four Books For the Fourth!

O, say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave,
o're the land of the free 
and the home of the brave...

The Star Spangled Banner by Peter Spier. Due to careful research, Spier's artwork depicts "the dawn's early light" and "the rocket's red glare" with remarkable authenticity and detail in this celebratory book. Among the highlights: a brief history of the anthem, a reproduction of Francis Scott Key's original manuscript, music for guitar and piano chords and many photographs.

The Story of "The Star-Spangled Banner" by Patricia A. Pingry, illustrated by Nancy Munger. This is the story of how Frances Scott Key observed the Battle of Baltimore in September 1814 and was so moved by the sight of the flag still flying at dawn that he wrote the poem that became our national anthem. Included in this little book is the first verse of "The Star-Spangled Banner" along with the admonition to stand up, remove our hats, and place our hands over our hearts when this song is played.  My 2 and 1/2 year old grandson is obsessed with this book!

F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison, illustrated by Barbara Duke. Flag Day was June 14, but with so many American flags proudly displayed, every day seems like Flag Day! Perfect for reading together with a young child, F Is for Flag shows in simple terms how one flag can mean many things: a symbol of unity, a sign of welcome, and a reminder that-in good times and in bad-everyone in our country is part of one great big family.

The 4th of July Story by Alice Dalgliesh, illustrated by Marie Nonnast.  The story opens on a stormy afternoon on July 4, 1776. Candles were lighted early in the State House in Philadelphia as the vote was taken on the Declaration of Independence. We go back, briefly, to see the need for the Declaration, and to see it written. Then there is the stirring moment when messengers leave with the first hastily printed copies of the Declaration in their saddlebags. We follow them through the country to see and hear the effect on the news on a farmer, on George Washington's soldiers, and on a congregation in church, as the minister says for the first time "God bless the United States of America". The narrative is told simply enough to bring it close to children who may be hearing it for the first time.

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