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Happy Birthday, America!

Overview

A family reunion, a parade, a Jell-O mold in the shape of the United States, fireworks— it must be the Fourth of July! From picnic preparations to the final starburst floating down through a midnight blue sky, Marsha Wilson Chall and Guy Porfirio serve up a happy, hometown Independence Day celebration with all the trimmings. So grab a sparkler and come join the fun!

Joined by an army of aunts, uncles, and cousins, eight-year-old Kay...

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Overview

A family reunion, a parade, a Jell-O mold in the shape of the United States, fireworks— it must be the Fourth of July! From picnic preparations to the final starburst floating down through a midnight blue sky, Marsha Wilson Chall and Guy Porfirio serve up a happy, hometown Independence Day celebration with all the trimmings. So grab a sparkler and come join the fun!

Joined by an army of aunts, uncles, and cousins, eight-year-old Kay and her family celebrate the Fourth of July.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Chall (Up North at the Cabin) and Porfirio (The Raggly Scraggly No-Soap No-Scrub Girl) offer an affectionate paean to the Fourth of July in this story of one extended family's holiday celebration. The narrator, an amiable girl who is "almost nine," relays snatches of conversation and her own impressions as carloads of relatives pull up to her family's welcoming clapboard house ("They squeeze me and pat me and lipstick smack me" she says of some older folks' warm greeting). The clan's high spirits resonate in the intentionally grainy, sun-dappled watercolor and colored-pencil art, which presents engaging depictions of town-wide festivities (a timeless parade in which the narrator rides in a "wheelbarrow float"), as well as of the family's own traditions (a picnic, a swim in the lake and a sunset boat trip to view fireworks). Chall's breezy and spontaneous storytelling sets a tone of familiarity and comfort. "An army of aunts swarms out of the kitchen, carrying sweet-pickle jars and casseroles," observes the narrator, who then cuts into a molded dessert shaped like the United States and announces, "I plop Florida down right next to my lasagna." Ample good cheer, mixed with splashes of patriotism and nostalgia, make this a family outing to which nearly everyone will feel invited. Ages 5-up. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
The Fourth of July offers an opportunity for family and friends to gather and celebrate. It is a national holiday, and in many American communities there are parades, picnics, band concerts and fireworks in the evening. Set in a small to midsize town, the family in this book is hosting a gathering of its extended relatives. Kids and food start arriving early. It's hugs and kisses for all--and time to decorate the bike and wheelbarrow for the town parade. Then it's back to the house for food and a swim in the lake. This family even holds a watermelon seed-spitting contest. As the sky darkens, the clan heads for the boats and they float on the lake while watching the fireworks light up the night sky. Waving sparklers high, the kids all wish America a happy birthday. This slice of small-town life is warmly illustrated in colored pencil and watercolor by Porfirio. It is one that I remember and hope that many of today's kids are fortunate enough to also enjoy. 2000, HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 8, $15.95 and $15.89. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A family celebrates the Fourth of July, complete with flags flying, a neighborhood parade, a picnic feast, swimming in the lake, games on the lawn, and, of course, fireworks at night. It is a nostalgic visit that shares some of the joys of extended family coming together for a reunion, without getting into any of the reasons for the celebration. The illustrations are done in bold, bright colors as befits the occasion, and facial expressions show the excitement and fun of the event. The characters engaged in the assorted festivities are set on vivid bled spreads, mostly green, reflecting the sunny summer day. At the end, children and adults enjoy fireworks, placed on two deep-blue spreads. This attractive but wordy slice of small-town life, set in the not-too-distant past, has more visual appeal than engaging story.-JoAnn Jonas, Carlsbad City Library, San Diego, CA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688130527
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2000
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: AD330L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Marsha Wilson Chall's first book, Up North at the Cabin, which was inspired by her own childhood summers on northern Minnesota lakes. Sugarbush Spring was also inspired by a beloved family tradition. Marsha is also the author of Rupa Raises the Sun (DK Ink), illustrated by Rosanne Litzinger. She lives with her two children, Lindsay and Robbie, in Minnetonka, Minnesota.

Guy Porfirio is the illustrator of such books as The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell and The Day I Could fly by Lynn Crosbie Loux. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, with his wife and their two children.

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