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A is for America Hardcover – May 1, 2001


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A is for America + P is for Passport: A World Alphabet (Discover the World)
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For more ways to engage young readers, download the Teacher's Guide to A is for America: An American Alphabet [PDF].

Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Series: Discover the World
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585360155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585360154
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 11.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tidbits of American history, geography and pop culture, as well as a sprinkling of commercial brand names, appear in this hodgepodge of an alphabet book. Scillian, a Detroit news anchor, delivers uninspired verse: "Kitty Hawk and Kansas, and Kodiak bears./ King Kamehameha, Kellogg's Rice Krispies squares./ K is for two kinds of King George the Third who was defeated,/ and Martin Luther Junior whom our troubled nation needed." Sidebars on each spread offer several explanatory notes, some of which are helpful ("King Kamehameha was the ruler of Hawaii more than 100 years before Hawaii became a state"), while others are murky ("Henry Ford [listed under "H"] didn't invent the automobile. But his way of building them was so successful many people believe he did"). First-time illustrator Carroll paints sometimes jarring collages of items mentioned in the text; representing the letter "P," for example, is an illustration of Rosa Parks sitting on a bus, holding a container of popcorn and gazing out the window at converging images of Philadelphia, Pike's Peak and Plymouth Rock. Ages 4-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"A is for America' gives 26 reasons to be proud...many will appreciate the patriotic theme." -- Linda Ann Chomin, Observer & Eccentric, Michigan June 17,2001

"Thank you for 'A is for America!' It is filled with delightful poems, lovely illustrations, and loads of information." -- Mostly Books, Gig Harbor, WA

More About the Author

When I wrote my first children's story in high school, I don't think I could quite see the day when I would actually become a published author. (I certainly didn't envision myself being invited to read at the White House.) But I do know that from the very first story (which was called, "The Journey to the City" by the way) I was completely taken by the joyous freedom that comes with writing for young readers (even though I was a seriously young WRITER at the time).
It took another ten years or so before I started seriously working at getting published, and another ten years after that before I actually received that magical acceptance from an editor. It was like crossing a far away finish line. And I think that just after "Fibblestax" was published, I thought that I could check that box (the "published author" box) and move on to something else. I don't know that I could see another dozen or so books pouring from me. I mean, I had a "regular" job as anchor of the news at the NBC affiliate in Detroit; it was often more than a fulltime gig. But in children's books, I quickly found a calling.
Shortly after "Fibblestax" was published, my editor called me and told me to think about a book called "A is for America." She didn't say to write it; she just said to think about it.
I couldn't think of anything else.
Having grown up in a military family all over the country and all over the world, and having watched my father head off for three tours of duty in Vietnam, I had a lot of thoughts about America. And in just a few days, I had completed the book. It was odd --- ten years to get "Fibblestax" published, less than a week to get "A is for America" on its way. But as "America" became a national bestseller and I began hearing from teachers all over the country using the book in their classrooms, I developed a new understanding of the power of a picture book. (I'll never forget the morning one of my daughters started yelling for us all to come to the television because the "Today" show had just shown my book sitting beneath the White House Christmas tree.)
Years and many books later, I love to look at the characters who've walked the road with me --- Fibblestax, Cosmo and his moon, Brewster the Rooster, Moses (who led his family to an Oklahoma homestead in "Pappy's Handkerchief") and the others. They've become a part of our family. And I can't wait to meet those who line the road ahead.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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The illustrations are very well done.
High73
It's been in my 5-year-old's collection for about 2 years now, and it still get pulled down and read every few weeks.
Gregory J. Nelson
Great resource for homes school/elementary social studies.
Tancy R.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gregory J. Nelson on October 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book. It's been in my 5-year-old's collection for about 2 years now, and it still get pulled down and read every few weeks.
Devin Scillian has done a fantastic job of using events and facts from just about every imaginable facet of American life, both well-known and obscure. For example, the book mentions the YMCA, Harriet Tubman, "The Twilight Zone", Kellogg's Rice Krispies, Hoover Dam, and egrets. That's on top of many major cities, states, and historical events.
The book layout features a very interesting two-tiered system. The main flow of the book is carried by a series of 4-line verses, one per letter. This portion is suitable for reading to pre-readers. Along the sides of each page, relevant factoids are given, further illuminating the main verse. This makes the book hold appeal for older readers, probably even up to 4th or 5th graders.
Pam Carroll's well-drawn illustrations are very "busy", but not in a bad way; my boy enjoys hunting for all the listed items. Adults can get a chuckle noticing the curious juxtapositions, such as Huck Finn reading a Hemingway novel on the "H" page, or, on the "N" page, Norman Rockwell painting Neil Armstrong, while both are on the moon.
I found this book to be an utter delight. Highly Recommended.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Pam Pulner on June 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to find fault with a book that educates children with enough originality and intelligence to keep parents and teachers on their toes as well. Don't be surprised to find yourself learning what you thought you already knew!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When you open this book, the first thing you see is page after page of beautiful imagery for young and old alike. This is sure to catch many inquisitive kids attention and stimulate dinner conversations all around the nation. BRAVO, PAM and Devin
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By High73 on November 5, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a very good book. I purchased it for my daughter's fifth birthday. The illustrations are very well done. The text flows well with an almost sing-song rhythm. There are also explanations on the side for places and ideas mentioned in the main text. But can someone tell me where Mt. Rainier is in the picture? I can't see it. An example of the main text is "V is for Veterans and the valor they displayed in vying for vital victories and the sacrifices they made. V is for Virginia and Vermont and Vikings, too. It seems they got here long before Columbus was able to."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By B & D on January 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
We received this as a gift when our son was born. We loved it so much we have started collecting all of the "Discover America State By State. Alphabet Series" books. While our son is way too young to appreciate the artwork and history the rhyming is great and have found these to be great before bed and naptime books. We look forward to expanding our "Alphabet Series" library as our son grows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Mesa on October 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As an educator I enjoy using this book in my classroom. I have used it with second, third and fifth graders as it also compliments our state standards. It is refreshing to see an ABC book that is great for older children. The illustration are beautiful and the vocabulary used has a wide range of difficulty for English language learners as well. I own one of the other books in this series and will be purchasing many more to get a complete set. I just love them!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautiful book about America that I am giving to the children of a good friend of mine who lives in Poland.
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