Whether kids want to recite the Pledge of Allegiance or respectfully decline, this straightforward and playfully illustrated guide clears up what the pledge really means--word by word, and line by line.
Two pledge-loving literacy experts (Michael Sampson and Bill Martin, Jr.) and one polite pledge-abstainer (Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Chris Raschka) have come together to explicate America's time-honored oath in plain, kid-friendly language: "I pledge (A pledge is a promise) allegiance to (Allegiance is loyalty) the flag (A flag is a symbol that stands for a place, a thing, or an idea. Making a promise to a flag usually means the same thing as making a promise to whatever the flag stands for.)." Sampson and Martin's annotations adequately convey the essential meaning behind the words, although understandably less so in the thornier sections: "under God (Many people believe that a democracy is a reflection of how God thinks--every single person is important.)"
I Pledge Allegiance also covers some of the history behind the pledge and the flag, but what kids will probably remember best--aside from the pledge itself--is Raschka's clever, winning collage work, which somehow manages to sum up ideas like liberty, justice, and God with a few quick strokes and scraps. (Ages 4 to 8) --Paul Hughes
From Publishers Weekly
Martin and Sampson's (previously teamed for Adam, Adam, What Do You See?) timely volume breaks the Pledge of Allegiance into digestible phrases or words and explains their meaning along with some history. Raschka's artwork makes a felicitous match; his highly conceptual style keeps the treatment playful yet respectful. Dressing the pages in a patriotic palette of snappy red, white and blue (jazzed up with torn-paper collage in shades of orange, green, black, yellow and more), he creates a series of clever visual counterpoints to the authors' careful deconstruction. As the text defines and explains each phrase or concept, Raschka bolsters the passages with child-friendly images. For "allegiance is loyalty," readers see a dog wagging its tail while, for "liberty" (described as an individual's freedom "to make his or her own choices"), individuals literally choose their own path as they step out onto stripes of various colors. The authors also include interesting background, such as the meaning behind the colors in the American flag ("Red is for courage. White is for purity and innocence. Blue is for loyalty and fairness") and the pledge's origins (it was written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 as a poem for children). Simple without being simplistic, this cleverly designed volume spells out the concrete meaning behind the words in the Pledge of Allegiance while deftly communicating the democratic spirit and principles that inspired it. Ages 6-9.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.