Summer -- Independence Day


Collard, Sneed B.  BUTTERFLY COUNT.  Illus by Paul Kratter.  New York: Holiday,
    2002.  32p.  0-8234-1607-0; hb., $16.95    2001-024114    Gr. K-4+    E

    Readers learn that the narrator, Amy, is the great-great-granddaughter of Nora Belle whose farm is now the Nora Belle Prairie Restoration Project.  Each year volunteers all over North America take part in the Fourth of July Butterfly Count and Amy and her mother go to the family farm to look for the regal fritillary, a rare butterfly.  Readers see a variety of prairie plants, animals, and best of all, butterflies.  Kratter’s watercolors provide a soft view of the prairie and butterflies. The story ends with fireworks that remind Amy of butterflies.  While enjoying the book, readers who wish for labeled butterflies, are rewarded with fourteen pictures of butterflies along with their common and Latin names and an informative paragraph.  At the end of the book readers also learn about the North American Butterfly Association’s Butterfly Count including their website and snail mail address.  Guidelines for watching and attracting butterflies are given along with information about a book and pamphlet.  This picture book would be helpful for studying conservation and/or butterflies or to celebrate the Fourth of July.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI 49855
    32 years of experience as a school library-media specialist

Grimes, Nikki.  DANITRA BROWN LEAVES TOWN.  Illus by Floyd Cooper.
    New  York:  HarperCollins, 2002.  32p.  0-688-13155-7; hb., $15.95.
    0-688-13156-5;  lib.bdg., $ 15.89.     00-069725     K-Gr. 3     E

    The two friends readers met in MEET DANITRA BROWN (Harper, 1994) are back.  Zuri is unhappy because Danitra is leaving town to spend the summer with relatives.  The friends correspond through letters that comprise the thirteen poems in this book.  Each double page spread contains one expressive illustration by Cooper.  The poems are set against the illustrations but readers will appreciate that there is little detail behind them to detract from the text making it easy to read.  Although this is a summertime and Independence Day book, the friendship theme makes it a year-round book.  Two of the poems are especially good for reading or reciting at Fourth of July celebrations.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center, Marquette, MI
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist


Chall, Marsha Wilson.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!  Illus by Guy Porfirio.
    New York:  HarperCollins, 2000. 32p.  0-688-13051-8; hb., $15.95
    0-688-13052-6; lib.bdg., $15.89       93-0449820  PreS-Gr. 3      E

    Told in the first person by an 8-year-old female narrator, this story includes every possible way to celebrate the Fourth of July in a small town:  visiting with relatives, eating, swimming, a watermelon spitting contest, playing board games, carrying flags, watching or participating in a parade, riding a bike with spokes wrapped in crepe paper, riding in a boat, watching fireworks, lighting sparklers, and even eating a birthday cake with fifty candles.  The watercolor, paints and colored pencil illustrations provide a nostalgic quality to this celebration.  The text is full of activities and includes “An army of aunts swarm out of the kitchen…”   There aren’t many books for this holiday and this one fills the bill for patriotism.
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

    INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS.  Words that Changed History Series.  San Diego, CA:
    Lucent, 1999.  96p.  1-56006-368-8; lib.bdg., $22.45     98-7338   Gr. 6+    973.3

     Be it the written or spoken word, both reflect and shape America's history and this works by historian and award winning author, Nardo reflects how important speeches and documents have influenced out country, its beliefs, laws and public opinion.  It details the importance and significance of this famous document and what it symbolized.  The text is compelling enough to hold a child's interest, but not so complicated that it is hard to follow.  Interspersed are numerous black and while historical pictures and paintings as well as copies of articles and excerpts of lesser documents to help develop a more realistic understanding of this monumental shaping of history.  The text is preceded by a forward which explains to the young reader how "Many primary and  secondary source quotes give readers insight into the thoughts of the document's contemporaries as well as those who interpret the document's significance in hindsight."  Also included are source notes, reading lists, and bibliography.  The book would be a welcomed supplement to any classroom or  public or school library.
     Patricia Fittantte, Children's Librarian,  Escanaba Public Library, Escanaba, MI
     23 years of experience as a teacher and librarian

THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE.  New York:  Scholastic Cartwheel, 2001.
    32p.    0-439-24184-7; pb., $5.99      PreS-Gr. 3+  323.65

    Clear color photos are accompanied by phrases from “The Pledge of Allegiance.”  At the end of the book, miniatures of each photo accompany an explanation of the photo. One of the photos shows four children placing their hands on their hearts “to show we mean what we say.”  Other photos show the first flag, the world’s largest flag, the one planted on the moon, and those flying at the Capitol and the Washington Monument.  One page is devoted to history and content of the pledge.  Another page is devoted to special days for displaying the flag and a few interesting tidbits of information; for example, it does not fly over the White House when the president is not in town.  There is also information about why the flag looks like it does.  Anyone who has ever heard the jokes about children’s misconceptions about the pledge will realize the value of this book.  Libraries of all types need this book
    Mary Ann Paulin; Director, Superiorland Preview Center
    32 years of experience as a school library/media specialist

[ To the top of this page ]

[Back to Summer Holidays] | [ SPC Homepage ] | [ ]