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Yankee Doodle America: The Spririt of 1776 from A to Z

Overview

If you traveled the roads of colonial America, colorful hand-painted signs would greet you when you came across an inn or tavern, and inside, folks would be gathered to eagerly share the news of the day.Wendell Minor invites us on just such a journey through America in the days of its struggle for independence. Each striking illustration, painted on hand-carved replicas of these signs, introduces readers to the people, places and events that gave birth to our nation. Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the ...

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Overview

If you traveled the roads of colonial America, colorful hand-painted signs would greet you when you came across an inn or tavern, and inside, folks would be gathered to eagerly share the news of the day.Wendell Minor invites us on just such a journey through America in the days of its struggle for independence. Each striking illustration, painted on hand-carved replicas of these signs, introduces readers to the people, places and events that gave birth to our nation. Beginning with the Stamp Act that angered the patriots and inspired the "Sons of Liberty" to protest, readers meet George Washington (who gave his farewell speech to his soldiers at Fraunces Tavern), Thomas Jefferson (who penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence at a Philadelphia tavern) and other historical figures, and learn about the documents and battles that keep the fight for freedom alive.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his introduction to this inventive look at Revolutionary America, Minor (Reaching for the Moon) explains the importance of public houses-marked by graphically striking wooden signs. Colonists would gather in these small roadside inns and taverns to share news of the patriots' efforts and of the war's progress. Inviting readers to "follow the signs along a colonial road during the years 1765 to 1783," Minor presents an alphabetically arranged series of handsome, period oil paintings on wood, shaped like the public house signs, which spotlight people, events and places pivotal to the creation of the nation. Accompanying the signs, he offers succinct nuggets of information about influential individuals (e.g., Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, Henry Knox, Molly Pitcher, George Washington), key sites (Independence Hall, Old North Church), vital symbols (the Liberty Bell, the Stars and Stripes) and locations of crucial events in the war (Trenton, Valley Forge, Yorktown). Minor cleverly incorporates into his meticulously crafted renderings several relevant references to taverns, noting that Paul Revere and the Sons of Liberty met to plot against George III at the Green Dragon tavern in Boston, Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence at Philadelphia's Indian Queen tavern, and Washington delivered his farewell speech to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in New York. Though the volume's A to Z format requires a sequence that is not necessarily chronological, a concise timeline of significant dates sets the contents of this creative compendium in the proper context. All ages. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Just in time for Independence Day, Minor uses the alphabet as a base on which to recreate a picture of colonial America at the time of the Revolution. Each page or double- page spread has a letter, a brief explanation of the importance of what he has chosen to have it stand for, and an illustration framed in the style of old tavern signboards. Included are events, such as the passage of the Stamp Act and the Boston Massacre; places like Trenton, Valley Forge, and Yorktown; and many important people of the time, from Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, Molly Pitcher, and Thomas Jefferson to King George III. Master woodworker John Reichling has carved the wooden sign replicas on which Minor has painted his visuals in two of the shapes common at the time. Although Minor's painted signs are more detailed than the old ones, they reflect history similarly. Jefferson sits on his horse with Monticello behind him; the Old North Church steeple shows the lanterns glowing in the starry night; a weary troop marches in the snow at Valley Forge. These are emotionally charged images designed to enhance patriotism with history. Also included is a list of important dates, sources, and many other interesting and useful notes. 2006, G.P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers Group, Ages 6 to 10.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-In colonial America, the public houses served as the news hubs of their surrounding areas, places where people could gather to share talk of the day, whether it was national or local politics. Using hand-carved replicas of the signs for these inns and taverns to share facts about the American Revolution, Minor, in concert with master woodworker John Reichling, has created an unusual alphabet book. Covering aspects of the Revolution from the Stamp Act to the Old North Church to the X Regiment and Elizabeth Zane, this visually arresting treatment acts as an engrossing introduction to some of the people, places, and events that figured in America's fight for independence. Minor has filled the centers of two distinctive sign-board shapes with beautiful, deep-hued oil paintings. The letter addressed on each page is on the top of the board, with the full title (e.g., "Native American: The Mohawk Chief") incorporated into the image. The result is startling, and the shadow cast by the sign gives each picture a sense of depth. The factual material is correct, clearly stated, and intriguing, leading students on to more detailed treatments of the American Revolution. Pair this book with Stuart Murray's American Revolution (DK, 2002) or Lynda Graham-Barber's Doodle Dandy! The Complete Book of Independence Day Words (S & S, 1992), for a riveting visual introduction to the Revolutionary War.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Striking pictures make this patriotic alphabet particularly memorable. Pairing illustrations painted on weathered-looking tavern signs to brief commentary, Minor celebrates major figures and incidents of the American Revolution from the Stamp Act ("A is for ACTS") to Betsy and Ebenezer Zane, who were involved in the war's last battle. The overall arrangement is not chronological, but a certain coherence emerges, as the Boston Massacre and Common Sense come early on, followed by Franklin and Jefferson, Old North Church and Paul Revere, Washington and Yorktown-with nods to Molly Pitcher and Native Americans along the way. Ranging from crudely drawn emblems to heroic portraits and battle scenes, the art is scratched and cracked to look as if it had hung outside various public houses for a few seasons; though the artifice may call attention to itself for adults, children will linger over the strong images, finding them both easily recognizable and evocative of the era. (bibliography, timeline) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399240034
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/20/2006
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 366,766
  • Age range: 1 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 11.24 (h) x 0.46 (d)

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