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4.0 out of 5 stars
America : A Patriotic Primer
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223 of 252 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have always associated Mrs. Cheney with conservative politics. I could not imagine her writing a book covering American history that I would not find distasteful for professing conservative philosophy. My liberal soul stood ready to detest whatever she wrote sight unseen. The first lesson I learned from "America: A Patriotic Primer" is that "T is for Tolerance", as I truly regret my liberal snobbery. This book should not be seen as authored by a conservative writer, but merely as one written by an American, one that truly loves America, American values, and America's promise through its children. Rightly, no political viewpoint is taken, other than professing the greatness of our history and the profundity of our ideals.
This is a book best read with your child not as a story book from cover to cover, but rather savored in an unhurried fashion by jumping from place to place. I think it is best to let one of Ms. Glasser's wonderfully cheerful illustrations draw your child in, and then let the discussion go from there.
This is a great first book on American history for any family with young children (whether that family leans "left" or "right") looking for a fun, informative, and simple approach to American patriotism.
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50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was skeptical of a "Patriotic Primer" written by Mrs. Cheney, but I have to say that this is a wonderful book for readers ages 4-8, especially. I think elementary school teachers, who are struggling to work history into their curriculum, will find this book to be a treasure-trove of information and stepping off points for classroom discussion and projects. I find it refreshing that a "celebrity" book is an informative history book. Whatever you think of Mrs. Cheney, you can't argue with her on the need for our children to be better educated on American history. This is a book that will enlighten young readers as well as their parents. The detailed research notes in the back were of particular interest to me as an adult reader, and my 5 year old daugher loved the exuberant illustrations. Put your politics aside...this is a book for
all--young and old!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I'm thinking back to a year ago at this time and remembering how spoiled we Americans felt. And then along came 9/11 and shocked us all into shifting our priorities. If there is a book for children that manages to capture the scope of our greatness, it is this wonderful book by Lynne Cheney. It should be given to every child, every elementary school teacher and librarian on the first day of school this year.
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38 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As I read America, A Patriotic Primer, I found myself wishing I could have a "do over" on instilling an interest in American history in my own children. I see that the book is written so that it can be read to a 4 year old or a 10 year old. There is as little or as much information as the age requires.
I see that this book would evoke curiosity in children.
I own a copy and will keep it handy for as yet unborn grandchildren. I think it is a fitting Grandmother's shelf volume to be read when they arrive.
Ms. Glasser's illustrations are wonderfully interesting and beautifully showcased.
I love that Mrs. Cheney used the alphabet to instill important concepts, institutions, and figures in our country's history. I appreciate that she gave fair attention to women, minorities, leaders, soldiers, patriots, founders, artists........when you start really reading the 'fine print' the list is quite impressive. The beauty of the book is that it can be read over and over with a little more 'noticed' and learned each time.
I think this book should be available to every child in America. It is a book that will instill deeper understanding and ownership of our American heritage.
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30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
... However, 5 stars it DOES deserve as an educational/resource book about prominent historical events, people, and American ideals that shaped our country. It is written in short/simplistic phrases; however, the back of the book has a reference quide which gives a little more detail for each section (i.e. short biographies or facts about dates and events).
This is NOT a book to try to read at bedtime! It is not written in a "story" format. It is more a book to take your time with on an afternoon sitting down with your child and reviewing a few pages at a time....gazing at the pictures, talking with them in more detail about what each of the things means to America and the importance of it in our lives. It is more a book to use for educating and as a resource book for the "main" thing to know about a historical figure/event/or ideals that shaped America.
I found the artwork to be "charming"! I found the pictures to
be bright and detailed! The pictures are not "big" and "bold" as you would prefer for younger ages (under age7). The pictures are small and detailed with many scenes on one page. The scenes include pictures of historical buildings (white house, statue of liberty, supreme court, etc), events (thanksgiving, civil war, etc), people (Lincoln, Washington, Martin Luther King Jr, etc). and ideals (voting, peaceful assembly, valor, tolerence, etc).
In summary, this book is not a book to read at bedtime; however,
you would like this book if you use books as an introduction to family discussions and are prepared to introduce more detailed information during the discussions.
...
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First of all, I'm a teacher and I'd like to mention
that the best alphabet books are ones with clear memory
cues such as A is for apple, i. e. if you are using a
book to teach the alphabet. Each picture gives a clear
memory cue for the letter. We associate what we need
to learn with something we already know. That's what
the memory experts say! It works!
I even have had great success by having parents create
their own alphabet books by having their children cut
pictures from magazines for each letter. It is a great
learning experience and the children love to have their
own books! Taping pictures and having an adult print
letters in a composition book works fine, or you can get
more fancy.
The main goal of this book is NOT to teach the alphabet.
The goal is to teach very young children an appreciation
of US heritage. Notice, the ages are for 4-8. This book
is a great springboard for discussion, songs, and other books.
My children and I appreciate the book very much. ...
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21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2002
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a beautiful book and appropriate for all ages. The writing is heartfelt and the illustrations are moving. Each time my grandson and I pick up this book we find something new that he has questions that open up a wonderful discussion between us. This is a must have book for every family's library!
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
"We live in a land of shining cities and natural splendors, a beautiful land made more beautiful still by our commitment to freedom. I wrote this book because I want my grandchildren to...know they are part of a nation whose citizens enjoy liberty and opportunity such as have never been known before." So says Lynne Cheney in America: A Patriotic Primer.

America is an enormously complex topic to cover, but Cheney does an admirable job. Using an alphabet format ("E is for Equality), the author manages to cover a lot of ground and do it well. Children will read about concepts such as tolerance and freedom; about leaders, from Native Americans, Founders Fathers and suffragettes to presidents and Martin Luther King; and about important places, such as Ellis Island and Yorktown. The "Concluding Notes" provide more in-depth information about the people and events mentioned, and even the Bill of Rights. Mrs. Cheney hopes not only that children will enjoy it themselves, but also "that it will most often be read and discussed by parents and children together."

Robin Preiss Glasser's illustrations and border drawings are a treat. Fascinating in themselves, they keep discrete pieces of information clearly separate, yet bring a cohesiveness to the book.

[...]
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Is there room for politics on a child's bookshelf? You bet there is! Our children need to understand the great ideals that brought about the birth of our democracy and to understand a the values we are fighting for in a difficult world. AMERICA: A PATRIOTIC PRIMER does just this in a very entertaining format. There is so much to look at on each page, both visually and information-wise. In our first reading, we only got up to "S is for Suffragettes" because we stopped so often to talk about the concepts and principles presented. I especially loved the cover illustration, and went directly to the internet to show my daughter the famous photo it mimics. I will be giving this book to all the families coming to my annual 4th of July picnic this year. A real find.
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for my daughters and have enjoyed reviewing history as told through this book by Lynn Cheney. The book is well thought out and kids (at least mine anyway) love the pictures and stories.
I recommend this children's book highly. The book is a good one to have in the school library-- I sent a copy to a local school.
Thanks go to Lynn Cheney for putting this together for us.
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