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America : A Patriotic Primer Hardcover – May 21, 2002
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Written by Lynne Cheney, author and wife of Vice President Richard Cheney, to honor this "beautiful land made more beautiful still by our commitment to freedom," America: A Patriotic Primer is a proud celebration of the individuals, milestones, and principles of this nation. Each busy spread features elaborately decorated letters of the alphabet, with one or two kids draped over its bars and loops, along with the highlighted concept or person: "N is for Native Americans, who came here first," "T is for Tolerance." Surrounding every letter is a veritable circus of entertaining and useful related information, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser (Alexander, Who's Not (Do You Hear Me? I Mean It!) Going to Move). "J is for Jefferson," for example, is bordered with biographical details and quotations from Thomas Jefferson, while mini images depict the third president's famous home (Monticello), some of his inventions, and a description of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This compelling picture book will work best as a supplement for children who are already immersed in basic American history at school. Teachers and parents will enjoy exploring with their kids every inch of the detailed, hand-drawn and illustrated U.S. map found in "U is for United States," explaining and elaborating on the historical lessons as appropriate. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter
From Publishers Weekly
The Second Lady teams up with Glasser (the You Can't Take a Balloon series) to create this well-intentioned ("I wrote this book because I want my grandchildren to understand how blessed we are," writes Cheney in her introduction) if rather listless alphabet book celebrating the United States and its history. Rendered in ink, watercolor washes and colored pencil, Glasser's detailed, bustling art features multiple images on each spread and inventive borders containing pictures and brief factoids, yet the spreads have a slightly washed-out quality. The alphabetical entries include renowned individuals (Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln), milestones in this country's history (The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence) and generic terms (heroes, ideals, oath, patriotism, suffrage, valor). As the alphabet winds down, Cheney strikes a sentimental note, drawing readers into her narrative with her assertion that "Y is for You and all you will be in this greatest of countries, the land of the free." Glasser then provides simulated snapshots of children with captions denoting their career aspirations (e.g., "future art critic" and "test pilot of tomorrow"). Although many of the anecdotes and quotations from presidents and other patriots appear in a tiny type face, children will likely pore over the pages to glean the interesting tidbits offered. Cheney's concluding notes provide details about some of the individuals or events mentioned on the prior pages. A competent though less than compelling tribute. All ages.
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In my opinion, they are a "must" in every family book collection --- every age will learn or re-learn the correct
history of our great country.