Saturday, July 7, 2012

Red, White and Boom! by Lee Wardlaw (ages 3-8): celebrating Independence Day!

Are you still basking in the glow of Fourth of July? My children love our local Independence Day traditions - a neighborhood parade, patriotic songs and a ringing of the liberty bell. Every year, we wonder if we'll stay up late to watch the fireworks. If you're looking for a book that celebrates this holiday, find a copy of Lee Wardlaw's newest book, Red White and Boom! It will bring back your children's memories of this holiday and show them how other families celebrate, too.
Red, White and Boom!
by Lee Wardlaw
illustrated by Huy Voun Lee
NY: Henry Holt / Macmillan, 2012
ages 3 - 8
available at your local library and on Amazon
Wardlaw and Lee capture the joy, excitement and pure fun of Fourth of July celebrations across the country in this bold, eye-catching picture book. Wardlaw, the author of the award-winning Won Ton Cat, writes short, focused rhyming pairs that bring readers right into the celebration with their many sensory details.
"Flags unfurl/batons twirl...
Corncob sweet/Drippy treat...
Rockets wing/Crackle, sing
Burst and zoom/Red, white, boom!"
Lee's papercut artwork brings readers right into the celebrations. Families watch a parade marching through their city, with children leading off the parade carrying a large balloon of an American eagle. Throughout, children and families of many colors and ethnic backgrounds celebrate together.

But the fun doesn't stop there. Some families love going to the beach every summer for their Fourth of July celebrations. Families and friends have fun together, enjoying a picnic, throwing frisbees and playing in the water.

Finally, a crowd gathers in a local park that evening to enjoy the fireworks. Throughout this book, you get a child's sense of the fun and excitement of the celebrations. Lee's colorful papercut illustrations emphasize the sense of communities coming together to celebrate. She varies the perspectives, drawing up close so you can see the watermelon dripping and zooming out to watch the crowds gather in the park.

Enjoy this book with your children, as you talk about your own family traditions. Teachers will love this, too, as a writing prompt to writing short poems about summer traditions.

Thank you to Lee Wardlaw for sharing about this book. All images copyright ©2012, Huy Voun Lee. The review copy was purchased at Vroman's Bookstore, an amazing bookstore in Pasadena, CA. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

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