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B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet Hardcover – April 20, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–5—In this informative book, each spread features a short poem related to Civil War history superimposed on a large, well-rendered oil painting, with more-detailed text on the side of one or both pages. Bauer presents multiple points of view, listing the many names the war has been called, discussing how battle names varied in the North and the South, and providing a succinct but instructive explanation of why the war began. She strikes a balance between major historical points and intriguing details that will maintain interest. Many particulars of ordinary life, such as uniforms, food, pastimes, and medical care, humanize the conflict. The information is realistic but not harsh, and it maintains an age-appropriate tone. The text and images, which complement and expand upon each other, include Caucasian and African-American men, women, and children. No mention is made of Native American involvement. This title will be a good companion to Patricia Polacco's Pink and Say (Philomel, 1994), George Ella Lyon's Cecil's Story (Scholastic, 1991), and Susan Fletcher's Dadblamed Union Army Cow (Candlewick, 2007).—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA END

About the Author

Pat Bauer is a veteran teacher, who shares her passion for history, art, music and literature with her sixth grade students. It’s not unusual for her to appear in class in a 19th century costume, pass around artifacts for her students to touch, teach her students a song that has been around for centuries, direct them in acting out historical scenes or show herself in a video shooting a musket. History is filled with the most amazing stories, and that’s what she works to convey to her students. Pat and her husband, artist and children’s book illustrator, Dave Geister, worked for many years at Historic Fort Snelling in Minnesota as costumed historical interpreters. This is where she learned to bake bread on a hearth, churn butter, sew 19th century clothing and acquired many other historical skills that she continues to use in teaching and in her portrayal of various historic characters.

Pat is also passionate about using picture books to teach history, and frequently gives workshops on this topic. She and Dave are adjunct instructors for Hamline University, where they teach a course on using historic sites to teach Minnesota history.

“B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet” is Pat’s first published book, though she has been writing for many years. Collaborating on this book with her husband was a dream come true because they have both been fascinated with the Civil War since childhood and they love to work together. They live in Minneapolis, where their home is filled with paintings, music, books, family, friends, fresh bread, two cats and a wiener dog.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1 edition (April 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585363561
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585363568
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #881,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By M. Olson on June 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Just in time for the summer library reading programs, "B is for Battle Cry" is sure to please your aspiring historian. Patricia Bauer uses the letters of the alphabet to describe the political, social and geographical changes of the times, in a way to which a child can connect and understand.

Younger children will like the simple, beautiful verse of Bauer's "alphabet," which follows the pattern of Stephen Foster's period song, "Hard Times Come Again No More."

For older children and adult readers, Bauer has added a sidebar to each page, explaining in more depth the facts and concepts behind each letter's Civil War "word." Bauer explains to a child's understanding, but never talks down to her readers.

Each page is illustrated with the beautiful paintings of David Geister, capturing both the epic conflict of ideals, and the feelings and struggles of people on both sides. Geister's paintings are moving, inspirational and very, very human.

Geister's website, [...], offers a free music download of the verse sung to Foster's music, adding another dimension to a book already brimming with treasure.

This is the perfect book to introduce your children and students to the times and events that changed the course of American history.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Chochole on July 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book that my kids, especially my son, enjoys! He is six and loves to hear this read and to see all the colorful images. The book is done tastefully and brings up lots of great questions from children. If you kids are into history at all or you would like to begin stirring their inquiry into our nation's background- this is a great tool for parents and teachers. Mr. Geister's painting talents and Pat Bauer's colorful text just "jumps" and works for us.

Happy Reading,
Jay Chocole
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy Waltz on January 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alphabet books and songs have a long tradition, from "A is for Apple ..." to "The Lumberman's Alphabet" to "The Sailor's Alphabet," and so on. What sets "B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet" apart is the importance of the subject - Civil War history - plus the creative text, and the beauty and authenticity of the illustrations.

The short poems and authentic pictures for each letter appeal to younger children, but what makes this book special is the sidebar text for each letter that provides background of interest to older children and adults. The added bonus of being able to sing the short verses to a simple melody (Stephen Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More"), makes this a great family reading-time book.

Pat Bauer, the book's author, is a teacher as well as an author. In her teaching, she uses poetry, music, costumes, picture books, and literature to engage her students in the study of American history. David Geister is an illustrator and historical artist whose paintings have been featured in The Saturday Evening Post, The Military Collector and Historian, and several issues of The History Channel Magazine. Together they have given us a wonderful way to make history interesting and enjoyable for young children. A valuable addition to any family or library's collection!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Atheen on October 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I had the great pleasure of attending a Children's Book Fair last month and a lecture presented by both the author of this book and the illustrator (a remarkable married couple, both from Minneapolis where I live also). I was thoroughly impressed by both, but most especially by the illustrator, whose original acrylic works were on exhibit in the gallery sections of the Anderson Center. [The Center, located in Minnesota between Hastings and Red Wing and about 50 or 60 miles from the Twin Cities, is a foundation that promotes the arts in various forms and provides residencies for professionals, classes for the amateur in a variety of arts, and exhibits by local artists.] It was very enjoyable, and I purchased the book, largely because I wanted copies of the artist`s work.

The story is a montage of information about the Civil War era presented in poetry and in narrative forms and in the artwork of the illustrator. Both the author, Patricia Bauer (a grade school teacher) and the illustrator, David Geister (a local artist), have researched the Civil War period extensively because of their personal interest in it, and the alphabet book was a way of pulling together some of their information. They so much enjoy this period that Ms Bauer participates in the 19th century reenactments of it at Fort Snelling, where she presents period cooking. Both also participate in the Civil War era celebration presented at an historic house in Hastings, Minnesota, where he appears as a common Civil War soldier and she a lady of the period.

The book is delightful in its choices for each of the alphabet letters and is surprisingly sensitive in these choices to the pride of both the Northern and the Southern participants.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mymcbooks on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
My Review: B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet: The beautifully illustrations of this book take readers on an A -Z journey into the Civil War, introducing them to the renowned leaders, historic battles, inspiring events and documents of the Civil War.

A is for Abraham Lincoln and his history of becoming the 16th president of the United States. H is for Hardtack, the soldiers each received 10 pieces of hardtack as part of heir daily rations. S is for Spies, Wild Rose was a lady who spied for the South. I highly recommend this book for classroom reading.

My review about David Geister the illustrator

David Geister is a gifted and skillful historical artist. His paintings are very inspirational and human-like. David captures the facts and feelings of each story which shows in his paintings that helps brings each story to life.

The illustrations are vibrant, bold and beautiful with incredible attention to details which helps to bring the story to life. Every child and adults will find these books educational and engaging to read.

Great job David!

FTC Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the illustrator in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion in any way.
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