Happy 4th of July! My family just finished walking in our local parade and it was fun to wave at everyone and wish people a happy 4th of July. We are such a rich, diverse country and this is a great time to celebrate that fact. So given that today is the day that we celebrate America, I give you the really wonderful book I Love You Americanly, by Lynn Parrish Sutton and illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg.
I Love You Americanly is a tribute to the United States as well as a love story between parent and child. As Lynn Parrish Sutton explains, “It is a declaration of love for family and country that includes America’s geographical wonders, cities and monuments, as well as its founding ideals and quintessential experiences.” Continue reading →
This week my younger daughter is at a camp where she is getting to do a wide variety of arts and crafts project with the theme – Party in the USA. They are fully involved in celebrating this great country that we live in. So far, her favorite day has been where they focused on the Statue of Liberty. In addition to painting a picture, they created her crown and torch.
Back in April, I wrote about a few books that we had found about the Statue of Liberty after visiting her during our spring break. Now there is a new book coming out this September that takes a very interesting look at Lady Liberty, specifically, her right foot.
In Dave Eggers’ new book, Her Right Foot, readers get the usual history of the great statue – how she was designed and built, why she is green, and what the symbolic significance is behind aspects of her design. But then about half-way through the book, Eggers draws the reader’s attention to a little discussed part of the statue – her feet. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, my family visited New York and took a trip out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. It is such an awe inspiring place and I wanted my girls to understand the importance of the immigrant in American society. I’m not sure exactly when they really start getting in to the meat of American history in school, but there is such value in going to places and seeing it yourself and, of course, reading about history in wonderful books.
April is also National Poetry Month. While we don’t read a ton of poetry, there are some amazing books and one of the books below focuses on the history of Emma Lazarus’ famous poem that helped pay for the pedestal of Lady Liberty.
We have Hamilton fever in this house. One of the great things that has come out of that, apart from listening to the music non-stop, is that it has gotten my girls interested in learning more about our history around the time American Revolution. We had been thrilled to read Aaron and Alexander back in the summer, but when we were at the library recently, I happened upon the section covering this period in history and started grabbing (973.4 for anyone interested). Continue reading →
In just over a week we will inaugurate this country’s 45th President. In time for that event, National Geographic has released Our Country’s Presidents: A Complete Encyclopedia of the U.S. Presidency by Ann Bausum. In this outstanding book, not only does Bausum cover every president from George Washington through President-Elect Trump’s victory speech, but she also covers topics about the presidency itself, the White House and its traditions, and other historic moments connected to the presidency.
As my oldest has gotten to the age where not only is she beginning to understand the role of the government, but is also going to be studying it more in school, I see this book as an invaluable tool.
Our Country’s Presidents begins with a marvelous spread about the presidency itself. It encourages readers to delve deeper into the book by giving teasers about why various presidents attracted attention or funny stories they are known for. From nicknames to milestones and the myriad of questions we have about the men who have run this country, Our Country’s Presidents plans to enlighten and enrich.
It is great to have basic facts and figures on each president in one place. While this is an encyclopedia, it is also a fascinating history book on our country. Our Country’s Presidents also pays respect to the women behind each of these presidents, women who have made important impacts on our history even though standard history books often overlook them.
Timelines and descriptions of of crucial events that occurred while each president was in office lay the foundation, while thematic spreads run the gamut of issues surrounding the presidency —including the history of voting rights, what presidents have accomplished AFTER their time in office was over, campaign strategies, party politics, first ladies, presidential perks, White House traditions like the annual Easter Egg Hunt, and how letter writing may be a bit “old school” in our every day life it has always had a place in the oval office — even today.
Given how quickly this was published, Bausum also did an amazing job of covering the 2016 election. There are interesting pages that kids today will find especially interesting about the role of the Electoral College and a way to see how the Presidents compare in a variety of areas.
For any family looking to better understand the role of the president and the White House itself, this is a great new addition.
*** Note – I did receive a copy of this for review, but all opinions are purely my own.
I have been encouraged by the Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy to post about a nonfiction title each week. While I wouldn’t classify this book as a nonfiction picture book, most of the books that I post on Wednesdays will be. Please check out Kid Lit Frenzy for an amazing resource of nonfiction picture books.