instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

Blog

A Tribute to America in Patriotic Picture Books


Following are a handful of patriotic picture books to help celebrate America and Independence Day with a child. The first few are new to me, and the others are books that I especially like.

HOW TO BAKE AN AMERICAN PIE
by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Raul Colon
Margaret K. McElderry Books 2007

In this book the author adds American 'ingredients' that come from its land, from the people who came to America, and more. It reminds me of what the people in America all stand for, together. I personally like that some of the ingredients that she adds are 'forgiveness,' and 'faith, hope, and love.' "Place in God's hands and allow to rise." Well written in lyrical prose, with illustrations that combine reality with imagination.

AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
by Katharine Lee Bates, illustrated by Wendell Minor
GP Putnam's sons 2003

Beautiful illustrations accompany the words to 'America the Beautiful' in a moving tribute to one of our nation's most beloved patriotic songs. In the introduction the illustrator tells us that "The paintings in this book are the images that come to my mind when I sing the words." Back matter tells us more about the author of the poem that became the song and how she came to write it, and about the composer who wrote the melody to the words. An illustrated glossary tells about the places shown in the illustrations, and a map of the United States shows the locations of some of America's 'most beautiful places.'

WHAT PRESIDENTS ARE MADE OF
by Hanoch Piven
Atheneum Books for Young Readers 2004

The author selected 17 different past presidents and chose a different attribute for each, based on something about that president or something that they liked to do. I love reading little known facts about history, and I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't crazy about the illustrations, but that's just my personal taste, and they certainly are interesting.

THE SCRAMBLED STATES OF AMERICA
by Laurie Keller
Square Fish Publishing 2002

A crazy tale of mixed-up geography, each state has its own personality as they travel across the US!

BAD KITTY FOR PRESIDENT
by Nick Bruel
Roaring Brook Press 2012

Bad Kitty decides to run for President of the neighborhood cat club. A fun way for kids to learn about the election process. Read this easy reader to find out if Bad Kitty wins! There is a glossary of election terms at the back of the book.

MOLE MUSIC
by David McPhail
Henry Holt & Co 1999

Mole Music is not necessarily a patriotic picture book, but it is a wonderful story of hope, and peace. It shows the difference that one person can make in the world, and the wonderful influence of music on the heart.

Mole feels that something is missing in his life. When he hears someone playing a violin, Mole realizes that he longs to make beautiful music, too. As he gets better, he wonders if his music could reach into people's hearts, or even change the world. The illustrations tell the story from another perspective, and show how Mole's music has an effect on others that is more magical than Mole will ever know.

I wish all of my friends here a wonderful and safe 4th of July! I hope you'll celebrate our country, and never take for granted the freedoms that others have won for us. May 'God Bless America' and all who live here.  Read More 
Be the first to comment

Happy Birthday, USA!

Happy Independence Day to everyone! May we continue to enjoy the freedoms that God granted us.

Check out the Blog Hop interviews this week!

July 3rd -- Lori Galaske

July 5thSue Bradford Edwards: One Writer's Journey
 Read More 
Be the first to comment

Independence Day Dog!


In my picture book, NAME THAT DOG!, I decided to name one of my puppies for the Fourth of July Day holiday. I feel very blessed to live in a country where I am free—free to vote, to say what I think, and to practice my religion—and I thought that it would be good to show that love for my country by naming one of the dogs in my book for Independence Day.

I decided to make it a ‘list’ poem. I began by listing all the words that I could think of that had anything to do with the Fourth of July. I had freedom, independence, liberty, parades, marching bands, fireworks, America, picnics, ice cream and many more.

From my list, I chose Liberty for my puppy’s name for the letter ‘L.’

I started putting the words together, looking especially for good rhythm and rhyme. Then I thought, how great it would be to have this poem ‘sound’ like the Fourth of July as well. Maybe I could give it the rhythm of a marching band?

Here’s what I ended up with.

Liberty

Marching bands
Fire trucks
Flags held high.
Barbecues
Hot dogs
Ice cream, pie.
Firecrackers
Fireworks
up in the sky.
Little puppy
born on the
Fourth of July.

I hope that you enjoy this great holiday! I hope it makes you think of all that the Fourth of July means to you, and that it reminds you of the freedoms that have been won for us and protected over the years. And that we all continue to work to protect those freedoms.

Happy Independence Day to everyone!
 Read More 
Be the first to comment

Children's Writers & Illustrators United

It's hot. Everywhere! Is anyone getting anything done?!

The Fourth of July holiday made me think about the word 'United' as in 'United States' or 'United under God.' And as my mind trailed off, I thought of how children's writers and illustrators unite and connect with each other. What we have in common brings us together. Our love of good books. Our connectivity with children. One of the best places for children's writers or illustrators to be united is through SCBWI,the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. It's a place to find each other. That perfect critique group, the author who says just the right thing to motivate or send us in the right direction, or that editor who is looking for just the story we've written.

Children's writers are very generous people. They share information, marketing tips and updates, opportunities for children's writers. They want the rest of us to succeed, too!

Maybe on this holiday we might stop and think about what our own part is here. So in honor of Independence Day, let's each share one bit of helpful information with another children's writer or illustrator this week. It's sure to come back to us many times over.  Read More 
Be the first to comment