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Red, White, Blue and Uncle Who?: The Story Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
If you have ever wondered how it is that the American flag is made up of stars and stripes or where Uncle Sam came from, you finally have a way to find the answers to these questions. In fact, this book discusses the origins of all the major American patriotic symbols that you can think of: the Great Seal, the Liberty Bell, "The Star Spangled Banner, the Pledge of Allegiance, the Statue of Liberty, Mount Rushmore, the White House, the Capitol, the National Mall, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Monument, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Well written, in a light and almost conversational tone, this is an easy and interesting read. The author has succeeded in making historical facts come alive, which is truly a mark of a real storyteller. The crosshatch black ink illustrations provide plenty to engage and amuse the eye, with the illustrator's sense of humor coming through and providing light entertainment as we read. 2001, Holiday House, Ages 9 to 12.
— Marya Jansen-Gruber
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-This information-packed potpourri of trivia and important facts does indeed give the stories behind 17 American patriotic symbols as diverse as Uncle Sam, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Great Seal. The lively text moves along so merrily that readers will be surprised to discover how much material is included. Each topic is given two to four pages including one or more sophisticated, witty, black-and-white line drawings. For the most part, the information is clear and complete. The coverage of the Korean War Memorial is especially welcome as there is not much in print on it. However, explaining the Vietnam War and the Korean conflict in a few sentences proves somewhat difficult. The text throughout the book is easy to read with uncomplicated sentences and short paragraphs and plenty of white space. This appealing book will be welcomed by report writers and browsers and will be a great addition to units on American history.-Marlene Gawron, Orange County Library, Orlando, FL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
How well do you know your country? From the better-known tale of the Statue of Liberty, to the less familiar story of the Great Seal, the meaning and history behind 17 patriotic sites and symbols are explored in depth. Readers will learn the amazing history behind the writing of "The Star-Spangled Banner," and the mystery of that strange pyramid on the back of a one-dollar bill will finally be resolved. The national flag once had as many as 20 stripes and the White House was not originally intended to be white. Find out why there is an oval room in the White House, and discover how several of the monuments in the nation's capital came to be. Bateman (A Plump and Perky Turkey, p. 1207, etc.) keeps interest high with well-written and easy to understand short chapters about each patriotic symbol. She chooses her facts well and doesn't get bogged down with too much detail. But readers will miss an introduction to the book-it just jumps right into the first chapter about the American Flag. Also, a map of Washington D.C. would be a welcome addition, since eight of the symbols are located there. O'Brien's (More True Lies, p. 592, etc.) humorous cartoon drawings add detail to the descriptions in the text, and are useful in helping the reader visualize the context of the symbol. However, the people in his drawings are rather eerie, with white eyes heavily circled in black, reminiscent of the Little Orphan Annie cartoons. Still, this is a must for elementary grades studying America's early years. (Nonfiction. 7-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823417841
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2003
  • Pages: 64
  • Sales rank: 492,769
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.52 (w) x 9.96 (h) x 0.17 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 11, 2011

    what a country

    In trying to teach a new generation of patriotic citizen Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? The Stories Behind Some of America's Patriotic Symbols By Teresa Bateman and illustrated by John O'Brien is the perfect children's book.
    Here you will learn of the American Flag. The many designs that were considered.
    The White House, the people's house, how it was once burned. How there are four entrances at the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home. The south door is for high government officials and foreign diplomats. The North entrance is for state visitors, family, and friends. The West door is used by the President and his staff and the East door is used by the public.
    How our national bird could have been a wild Turkey, champion by Benjamin Franklin. The finally chose the bald eagle because it was native to North America.
    Red, White, Blue, and Uncle Who? By Teresa Bateman is a fun book for all ages to revisit stories of America.

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