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The Flag We Love

The Flag We Love

5.0 2
by Pam Munoz Ryan, Ralph Masiello (Illustrator)

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With patriotic verse and dazzling illustrations, The Flag We Love presents a lyrical journey through the history of our nation's flag. Both famous and commonplace moments are depicted in brilliant oil paintings in this wonderful book that's sure to inspire readers of all ages. Full-color.


With patriotic verse and dazzling illustrations, The Flag We Love presents a lyrical journey through the history of our nation's flag. Both famous and commonplace moments are depicted in brilliant oil paintings in this wonderful book that's sure to inspire readers of all ages. Full-color.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Strike up the band and prepare to salute-this patriotic picture book unabashedly celebrates the Stars and Stripes. In a series of earnest verses, Ryan (One Hundred Is a Family) introduces young readers to our national symbol and the ideals for which it stands ("Americans stand together/ Before ceremonies start/ And promise their allegiance/ With their hands across their hearts"), while prose insets offer historical tidbits in a sidebar format. The book's clean, airy layout contrasts with Masiello's (The Extinct Alphabet Book) intense, sometimes murkily-hued oil paintings, which echo Ryan's text in their solemnity and fervor. Nonetheless, the result should delight Yankee Doodle dandies everywhere, and could help spark discussion on the basic elements of democracy. All ages. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
In her poetic paean, Pam Muñoz Ryan "sings" of the symbolism inherent to displays of The Flag We Love when raised at school each morning, for example, flown on the 4th of July, or placed at the Viet Nam Memorial. Ralph Masiello's intense paintings powerfully portray the patriotic fervor of Ms. Ryan's verses for young people.
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
An American flag, the familiar red, white and blue, ripples in a sky filled with fireworks--a reminder of all of the joy and pride we take in one of our most enduring national symbols. As Ryan tells readers, no one really knows who designed or created the first flag or why the colors were chosen. Interestingly, there were no guidelines initially regarding the size or placement of the stars. She doesn't tell us when the flag was standardized, but what she does tell us is fascinating. Six American flags "fly" on the moon, one for each Apollo landing. Flags fly over schools, at national monuments, and are a big part of celebrations such as those for the Fourth of July. Flags fly at half-mast to honor the dead and they fly at our ports to welcome all who arrive at this country. Her text and Masiello's wonderful illustrations will make us all remember that the American flag represents "many of America's hopes and dreams." It is my hope that this book will find a place in school and public libraries and that children and adults will pause to think about our flag, this nation, and what we stand for. 2000 (orig. 1996), Charlesbridge, Ages 5 up, $16.95 and $7.95. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 1-6-A poetical history of the U.S. flag. Each double-page spread features a four-line, rhymed verse of mediocre quality and a box of well- and little-known trivia on the left, and a full-page painting on the right. The stronger illustrations include such moving scenes as the train carrying Lincoln's coffin, the Vietnam War Memorial, and an astronaut walking on the moon with a U.S. flag reflected in his visor. Other pictures are less effective-the ill-proportioned, misshapen hands on several figures are distracting. Overall, however, the bold, detailed paintings in muted colors help to emphasize the patriotic theme. An additional purchase.-Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL
ICarolyn Phelan
nger for reading aloud. In this tribute to the American flag, each right-hand page of the book is filled with a colorful painting, while the facing page contains a smaller picture, a four-line verse, and several facts about the flag. For instance, one spread reads: "A teacher raises a radiant flag / To let the children know / The schoolyard is a place to come / for the chance to learn and grow." The large illustration depicts flag-raising at a log schoolhouse. Other topics include the making of the country's first flag and the writing of "The Star Spangled Banner" as well as the flying of the flag on Lincoln's funeral train, at the Olympics, at ports of entry to the U.S., and on the moon. There's no hint of controversy here, just a bit of flag waving to celebrate the history of the Stars and Stripes. Although both verse and illustration seem awkward at times, libraries with a demand for the subject at this grade level will find this a useful resource.
Kirkus Reviews
Parallel texts (celebratory verse above, boxed historical information below) and burnished oil paintings combine in this paean to the American flag. The awkward verse ("The many connotations/For which our banner stands/Reflect our country's best intentions/And the people of this land") adds little to the effort, and although the boxed text correctly states that no one knows who made the very first Stars and Stripes, both poem and illustration (which shows the needlework of a lefthanded seamstress) tend to perpetuate the Betsy Ross legend. Another oddity: In the spread depicting the use of the flag at sporting events, the athlete shown is almost certainly Jesse Owens, yet his name and the significance of his Olympic victory are not mentioned.

The book is chiefly interesting for its depiction of the many ways in which the flag is used, e.g., to denote government buildings and official ports of entry, to mark the visits of explorers to remote regions, to memorialize fallen heroes, and to symbolize solidarity in parades and protest marches.

Product Details

Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
11.28(w) x 9.36(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Pam Muñoz Ryan is a native of California. She received her bachelor's and master's degrees at San Diego State University and she worked as a bilingual teacher and an early childhood administrator before dedicating herself full-time to writing. She wrote her first book at the age of 32 at the encouragement of a friend. She has written many picture books for young children and novels for older students. Pam lives in California with her husband and four children. She often speaks at schools and conferences about writing and literacy.

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5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. It has very interesting facts about our flag. Made me very proud to be an American. Great illustrations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This beautiful book opens with Muñoz's first inspiring verse: Our flag is our country's symbol Of ideals that are meant to last It's a promise for our future A reminder of our past.... The accompanying illustration by Ralph Masiello shows a freshly whitewashed barn with an American flag gracing one side. A farmer's furrowed field, a vast blue sky and bucolic setting complete the scene. Each page that follows presents another verse, accompanying illustration, and a text box that imparts a piece of our flag's history to the reader. The book is stunning to look at, informative and heartwarming to read. It is a good introduction to youngsters about how our flag came to be, how it's changed over the years, and its meaning to us as citizens. Carolyn Rowe Hill