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
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.