Did you realize it is ALSO National Poetry Month?
It is! And we have a few book reviews and giveaways this month for the poetry lovers in our midst, and those who would like to learn to love them!
Our first poetry foray will be a child's book!
Synopsis: We see all sorts of flags every day. But why do we have them, and what are they for? This free-verse poem takes a fun look at less-familiar flags, among them bed-and-breakfast, shipboard signal, and state-fair flags. The biggest surprise: "little flags that come from the barrel of a gun and say, BANG." As for leading a parade, "you usually have to have a flag for people to line up behind. Few would line up behind a small tree...if you carried it at your waist just like a flag but didn't first tell people what it stood for."
The book has lively illustrations to help children follow the verse. Unique banners, including branches and leaves spread over two pages, across the clean white backgrounds. The vibrant colors of the flags contrast boldly with the heavy-lined, black-and-white figures and structures.
|About the Author:
Marvin Bell is the author of more than sixteen books of poetry and has won numerous awards, including Guggenheim, Fulbright, and NEA fellowships. In 2000 he was named Poet Laureate for the state of Iowa. He lives in Port Townsend, Washington, and Iowa City.
|About the Illustrator:|
Chris Raschka is a Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator of many books for children, including I Pledge Allegiance by Bill Martin, Jr., and Michael Sampson; Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales; The Grasshopper’s Song by Nikki Giovanni; and A Poke in the I, A Kick in the Head, and A Foot in the Mouth, all by Paul B. Janeczko. Chris Raschka lives in New York City.
Note: this is the author and illustrator's third book together- their previous book was I Pledge Allegiance- which breaks the Pledge down into stanzas with kid friendly illustrations for kids to understand concepts like allegiance and liberty. If you're looking for a great book to help your kids learn the Pledge, their's is excellent!
Review: This is an adorable book- it reminds me very much of books from my childhood. Sometimes simplicity really IS the best when it comes to kids books! Kiddo was fascinated with the flag patterns and bright color designs. She enjoyed pointing out where she had seen the types of flags on the different pages! If you are anti-gun, the the 3 pages with the "bang flag" may be disturbing to you. Kiddo thought it was a like the ones on tv for racing, so she wasn't scared and thought the flag was funny. Just depends on you and your kid/grandkid.
This is a cute book and I think most kids would love it and want to go off and make their own flags after reading it. Plus if you took it on a trip, you could use it as a car game- points for different types of flags spotted!