O, Say Can You See? America's Symbols, Landmarks, And Important Words

Overview


This picture book celebrates and explains America's symbols, landmarks, and important words in lively, brief text and bright, humorous illustrations.

There are stars-and-stripes T-shirts. There are Statue of Liberty pencil sharpeners and Uncle Sam Halloween costumes. Patriotic symbols are everywhere...but where do they come from? What do they mean?
Now in paperback, this celebration of twenty of America's important places, interesting objects,...

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Overview


This picture book celebrates and explains America's symbols, landmarks, and important words in lively, brief text and bright, humorous illustrations.

There are stars-and-stripes T-shirts. There are Statue of Liberty pencil sharpeners and Uncle Sam Halloween costumes. Patriotic symbols are everywhere...but where do they come from? What do they mean?
Now in paperback, this celebration of twenty of America's important places, interesting objects, and inspiring words is for the youngest Americans. Including Plymouth Rock, the White House, the flag, the bald eagle, and many more, this book draws kids in with its big, two-page spreads and fun, bright pastels and satisfies their curiosities about America's most prominent symbols.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers can explore American history and traditions in O, Say Can You See? America's Symbols, Landmarks, and Inspiring Words by Sheila Keenan, illus. by Ann Boyajian. With one to two spreads for each monument or symbol, the volume covers such historical cornerstones as the White House, Uncle Sam, the Great Seal and the National Anthem. Boyajian's brightly smudged pastel and pencil renderings complement Keenan's accessible text: "The Liberty Bell kept tolling. Finally, it cracked. No one is sure exactly when." Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Organized into four sections—"Important Places," "Interesting Objects," "Inspiring Words," and "Celebrating American Holidays"—this provides an overview of a select group of patriotic sites, documents and objects. The "Important Places" section includes the buildings that house the three U.S. branches of government, Plymouth Rock, and Ellis Island. Information on each one's history and architecture can be found here. History and significance are included for the five "Interesting Objects," such as the flag, Uncle Sam and the Great Seal of the United States. There is a discussion of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the "National Anthem," and the Pledge of Allegiance. Words to these documents are not included. Brief information is presented for nine holidays. There is a glossary, a useful list of "Books to Read," notes from the author and illustrator, an index, and a tribute to 9/11 and the symbolism of the World Trade Center twin towers. The illustrations are both informative, such as those showing the obverse and reverse sides of the Great Seal, and humorous, such as the one showing people covering their ears at the sound of the Liberty Bell. The hand-lettered text at the beginning of each feature lends a busy but informal look to the page. It might be just the phrase to get readers into the book. 2004, Scholastic, Ages 7 to 12.
—Sharon Salluzzo
Kirkus Reviews
"The powerful symbols in this book stand for what the United States stands for: liberty, equality, and freedom." The subtitle provides a gloss of the subject matter: places (Plymouth Rock, the White House, Washington Monument, Ellis Island), objects (the flag, Liberty Bell, the bald eagle), holidays, and documents. The high-minded effort provides a glossary (although without a definition of "steerage"), books to read, and an index, but no sources. Opening with a paragraph about the origin of the population, the author, editor, and publisher immediately demonstrate a major oversight: no mention of native populations before the Mayflower. Later: "The Declaration of Independence is the most important document in our nation's history." Some may think otherwise. The illustration of Jefferson's writing desk on which he penned the Declaration has legs. It doesn't have them and the genius of his portable desk is in its design and construction. Illustrations in color are as trite as the text. A new symbol (after the index)-"Remembering 9/11/01"-seems to be a late addition that doesn't really fit. Overuse of the exclamation point is lazy and obviates the need for strong verbs. Not a necessary purchase. (Nonfiction. 3-4)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439593601
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 80,691
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.60 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Sheila Keenan is the author of many nonfiction books, including GREETINGS FROM THE 50 STATES; ANIMALS IN THE HOUSE; O, SAY CAN YOU SEE?; GODS, GODDESSES, AND MONSTERS; and the SCHOLASTIC ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WOMEN IN THE UNITED STATES. She lives in New York City.
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