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O, Say Can You See? America's Symbols, Landmarks, And Important Words Paperback – June 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5–From Independence Hall to Uncle Sam, this colorful book presents a mostly lighthearted look at familiar symbols of the United States, describing places, objects, treatises, and American holidays. Most of the subjects are given double-page treatments. Featuring soft edges and textured shading, the pastel and colored-pencil illustrations highlight details presented in the narrative. For example, a man is shown chiseling souvenir pieces from Plymouth Rock while his companion catches the bits in her apron. Asides help move the text along, as when a "Ding-dong THUNK!!" is heard when the Liberty Bell is rung with an off-key sound. Cool factoids are the rule here as well (e.g., on Mount Rushmore, Washington's nose is 20 feet long). The section on the Pledge of Allegiance mentions the "Under God" controversy. Myths are dispelled: "There is no proof that George Washington asked Betsy Ross…to sew the first [flag]." While most descriptions are lengthy and contain enough detail for reports, the holidays are dismissed in single paragraphs. On the final page, the World Trade Center is described as a national symbol, because remembering "…lets us turn an act of hate into a symbol of hope." The list for further reading is current, with most titles written after 2000. More in-depth and upbeat than Delno C. and Jean M. West's Uncle Sam and Old Glory (Atheneum, 2000), Keenan's title is a fine choice for libraries.–Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Gr. 2-5. Keenan recounts the history of 9 patriotic U.S. holidays and 19 symbolic places, objects, and inspiring phrases. Ranging from Plymouth Rock and the bald eagle to the Pledge of Allegiance and Veteran's Day, Keenan offers basic information and fascinating trivia: who knew, for example, that the original Uncle Sam was a meat packer from New York who supplied the government with food during the War of 1812? Boyajian's attractive, pastel-and-colored pencil artwork appears on every page, providing clarification for the text and humor when appropriate. Most topics are covered in one double-page spread, but more space is devoted to complex symbols such as the White House, the Statue of Liberty, the American flag, and the Declaration of Independence. This roundup of Americana is a natural choice for primary-school civics units and students of English as a Second Language; it belongs in every school and public library. A glossary and a bibliography, and note on symbolism of 9/11 are appended. Kay Weisman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction; Reprint edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439593603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439593601
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The many symbols of American liberty are part of our culture but rarely receive clear explanation for youngsters under one title, so choose Sheila Keenan's O Say Can You See? A fine survey of American historic symbols is provided, from an explanation and history of why the Liberty Bell is cracked to early designs for the US flag and why the current design was chosen. Color drawings throughout enhance /sgeuka Keenan's informative survey.
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Format: Hardcover
My daughter is in 1st grade and absolutely LOVED this book. It is a non-fiction account of many of the important documents (Declaration of Independence, etc.), monuments (Washington, etc.), and events of the early days of United States. It gives plenty of information (there were 3 whole pages on the D of I) that could be useful as a resource for a school history project. The writing is factual, but my daughter, who is 7, was able to read it all and was enthralled by it. The illustrations are also wonderful. After checking it out 3 times from her school library, she is now putting this book on her wish-list for Christmas!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hoping this book would work for 1st grade. It is very cute, but not appropriate to read to 1st graders in one sitting. However, I think it might work for learning about specific topics. It would be great for 3rd grade or above...just my opinion though.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I gave this product to my mom, who first found it on a library and did not want to let go of it. She reads it over and over (she is from Mexico) and loves learning in an easy vocabulary the history of USA. She will also probably use it this year to study for her citizenship test.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! This book is chalked full of 50 symbols/landmarks of America. Each great symbol/landmark is covered in a two page spread filled with witty informative text and beautiful colored penciled illustrations. A must have for every home library as far as I am concerned. I would say perfect for a 1st grader+ Some of the symbols it covers: plymouth rock, independence hall, the white house, capital building, supreme court, washington monument, lincoln memorial, statue of liberty, ellis island, mount rushmore, the flag, liberty bell, uncle sam, bald eagle, seal, decleration of independence, constitution & bill of right, national anthem, pledge of allegiance, and American holidays. This book has it all & even has some interesting facts that I as an adult did not know!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My students really enjoyed this book. It made the American landmarks and symbols easy to understand for primary students to understand. Each summary was well written and entertaining, and kept the students attention.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was very informative for my 8-year-old and it's written at a level that he understands which makes it fun to learn about America's symbols and landmarks.

It's been a long time since I've been in school so I hate to admit it but I learned things too.

The things it focused on are: Plymouth Rock, Independence Hall, living in the White House, Capitol Building, Supreme Court Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Mount Rushmore, the Flag, the Liberty Bell, Uncle Sam, why the national bird is the bald eagle, the Great Seal of the U.S., Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, our National Anthem, the Pledge of Allegiance, and some of the national holidays we celebrate.

Here's an example:
"The Pilgrims didn't actually land on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Good thing! If they had, the 10-ton boulder would have ripped a hole in the Mayflower! The Pilgrims rowed to shore and settled nearby in what is now Plymouth, MA. But what about that rock?"
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