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Stars and Stripes: The Story of the American Flag Hardcover – June 3, 2003
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4-With an endnote that debunks the Betsy Ross story, this tribute to the "Stars and Stripes" traces the history of our current national banner and shows the changes it underwent during various times in our political past. Beginning with the pre-Revolutionary "Sons of Liberty" flag and concluding with the flags flown after 9/11, Thomson's concise yet clear explanations provide interesting background information and clarify misconceptions about Old Glory. Chronologically arranged, the text is straightforward, easy to follow, and supplemented by a page of notes that adds important details about specific flags. The full-page acrylic spreads provide appropriate backgrounds for the featured banners. For instance, when discussing the stars, stripes, and Union Jack that combined to make the first Revolutionary War standard, the painting features George Washington astride his horse watching two Colonials raising the flag near his army's camp. A later page that tells of the Continental Congress's attempts at choosing a final form for the flag is illustrated with pieces of fabric, thread, and other sewing materials poised for their assembly into the "Stars and Stripes." Each painting is filled with movement, vivid colors, and realistic details. Much simpler and for a younger audience than either Leonard Everett Fisher's Stars and Stripes: Our National Flag (Holiday, 1993; o.p.) or Dennis Brindell Fradin's The Flag of the United States (Children's, 1988; o.p.), this is a solid choice for introducing the history of both our flag and our country. Pair it with Peter Spier's classic rendition in The Star-Spangled Banner (Yearling, 1992) for a 21-gun patriotic salute.
Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1-3. This colorful presentation traces the history of the American flag from its development during the Revolutionary War and early Federal period through the renewed enthusiasm for displaying it after September 11, 2001. One side of each double-page spread carries a few lines or paragraphs of text, facing a bordered, full-page illustration. Apart from the text, a page of notes details the stories behind some of the flags illustrated and an author' s note relates what is known about the flag and Elizabeth "Betsy" Ross and what is not known (who made the first American flag?). The dramatic compositions and bright, heraldic colors that characterize the illustrations give the book great visual appeal. Carolyn Phelan
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