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Hats off for the Fourth of July Hardcover – May 1, 2000

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 8 years
  • Lexile Measure: 10L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670891185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670891184
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.4 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Newcomer Miller's artwork provides the fireworks for this homage to the Independence Day parade, set in the Massachusetts seaside town of Chatham. Ziefert (When I First Came to This Land) describes the goings-on in stagnant verse that belies the gaiety of the proceedings. The predictable rhyming couplets suffer from occasionally strained rhyme schemes (town/around; boom/soon) and faltering rhythm ("Cowboys on horses yell out loud./ We all shout backDwhat a happy crowd"). Against solid-colored backgrounds, Miller whimsically tweaks traditional proportion, creating some stylized, angular images of people on unicycles, stilts and motorcycles. He peppers his paintings with playful particulars: a pooch purloins a twirler's baton, a uniformed George Washington look-alike appears in the crowd and one onlooker holds a pet rabbit on his lap. With images of a horse, a cow and even a clown straddling the turn of a page, the artist creates the feeling of an endless parade of marchers. This volume may well find an appreciative local audience, since the collaborators capture the flavor of this Cape Cod vacation spot (spectators cheer a car transformed into the shape of a whale; a lighthouse beacon pierces the night sky while fireworks explode overhead), yet the excitement of this holiday radiates more universally and warmly in Happy Birthday, America! (reviewed on p. 94). Ages 4-7. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 1-Ziefert shows how the townspeople of Chatham, MA, celebrate our nation's birthday while Miller's striking illustrations richly enhance the small-town ambience. Short sentences, repetition, and rhyme create enough anticipation to keep the pages turning as readers follow the parade as it travels its route. Both text and art create a sense of movement across the double-page spreads. Endpapers introduce a day in the life of the charming Cape Cod town's Main Street, beginning with a plane trailing a banner advertising the big event and concluding with fireworks ablaze over a now-darkened landscape. There's plenty to see, and the text has the steady beat of a parade drummer.
Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tanya A. Cheff on June 19, 2000
Format: Hardcover
What a great book to introduce children to patriotism and the All American parade! The illustrations bring a parade to life! All three of my kids ages 6, 4 and 20 months loved this book! Like a real parade, something for everyone!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Claudia Leeds on June 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book captures the essence of a favorite American event - the annual Fourth of July parade that can be witnessed in almost every small town. Ziefert's rhyming story is wonderfully illustrated with vivid paintings of the different entries in the parade. Uncle Sam on stilts, the Little League, the High School Band, the local beauty pageant winner---it's just like the author says "Everyone marches on the Fourth of July". My favorite picture is the one of the baton twirler trying to retrieve her baton from the mischievous pup that caught it. This book is an excellent one to read aloud to toddlers and preschoolers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By History_of_Art_Geek on July 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
There's a steady beat to the text, which plays into the movement of the parade, and arrests the listener almost enticing them to turn the page. The phrase "music and drum" is repeated throughout, and is so catchy I find myself humming it afterwards. The poems are strained in places, but overall the writing is pleasing to the ear. The illustrations are delightful, and brightly colored. The artist, Gustaf Miller has a homespun appeal. The images are realistic; yet there's a casualness, and lose flair to his paintings.

We don't learn anything about Independence Day in Hats Off for the Fourth of July, which is fine, but I wonder if the illustrator has ever been to an Independence Day parade. There are a few American flags painted into the scenes, but every Fourth of July parade I've attended is adorned with American flags, and even the spectators are decked out in our nations colors.

As there's little in the way of reading material for young ones on our country's birthday, the book passes the test, and the illustrations are certainly worth a long look.
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Format: Paperback
We got this book at the library and my 17 month old toddler wants me to read it again and again...and again (for about two weeks now). I will read this book and then try to read another one of his favorites next, but he will push it away. I am not sure if it is the vibrant pictures or the great flow of text, but it doesn't really matter...think I might have to break down and buy the book now.
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By Brenda on September 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Cute story. I read it to my preschool class.
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More About the Author

Harriet Ziefert was born in New Jersey. She grew up in North Bergen, New Jersey, where she attended the local schools. She graduated from Smith College, then received a Masters degree in Education from New York University. "About twelve years ago," says Ziefert in a 1995 interview, "I tried to get a job as an editor, but no one would hire me as a trade editor. So I decided to write my own books." Since then, she has written several hundred books, mostly picture books and easy-to-read books. "I write books very quickly," she says, "in about twelve hours. I rewrite them three times over three days, and then they're done." She writes about twenty books a year. Ziefert's picture book A New Coat for Anna is about a girl in a bombed-out European city during the months just after World War II. Anna has outgrown her old coat, and her mother trades her few surviving treasures--a watch, a lamp, a necklace, and a porcelain teapot--in order to obtain wool and have it spun, woven, and finally sewn into a fine red coat for Anna. A Horn Book Magazine reviewer stated, "the simple text, based on a true story, carries the narrative along effectively." The book, which was illustrated by Anita Lobel, was chosen as one of ten books to be read aloud by former First Lady Barbara Bush as part of a program promoting reading. Ziefert was invited to the White House for the occasion. The reason Ziefert began writing easy-to-read books was that she felt "they were getting too hard for kids to read in the first grade." She says that she wrote easy-to-read books with seventy-five or fewer words, even ones with fifty or fewer words, "to see how much of a story" she could produce with that limit. She enjoyed the challenge, and cites her book Sleepy Dog as an example. "Sleepy Dog is the most successful book I've ever done, in terms of number of books sold." She's also been working on a developmental program with publisher Dorling Kindersley, made up of books for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. Her book Pete's Chicken, which was illustrated by Laura Rader, was reviewed in the New York Times Book Review as "a simple, sweet 'Song of Myself' for children . . . [which] applauds the specialness of every child as it reminds parents of the healing power of just being there for children." Among her other books is a series of easy-to-read books, such as Trip Day and Worm Day, about an inventive science teacher and his rambunctious class of students. Ziefert's book Let's Get a Pet was named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by a joint committee of the National Science Teachers Association and the Children's Book Council. . Ms. Ziefert lives in Maplewood, New Jersey and Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has two adult sons.

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