Sunday, October 26, 2008

Children's Book Review - AMERICA: The Making of a Nation

AMERICA: The Making of a Nation
Author: Charlie Samuels
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Library Binding: 30 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Young Readers

AMERICA takes a fresh and compelling look at the birth of our nation, with lavish illustrations and interactive novelty spreads on every page.

Revealed through the lens of an anonymous journal, readers will take a chronological journey through watershed moments of American History. From the Founding Fathers' signing of the Declaration of Independence through current events of the 21st century, AMERICA offers an in-depth look at the making of our nation in an accessible volume that will speak to readers of every age.

Chockfull of innovative novelty components, including lift-the-flap postcards, removable song lyrics, and even a foldout replica of the Declaration of Independence, AMERICA offers readers a captivating exploration of the ideals and values our nation was built upon.

I have no hesitation in saying that although I'm way past the age of the intended reading audience, this book held be captivated and entranced with its vivid visuals, captivating tidbits about this great nation and a manner of explanation that's as friendly as it is non-preachy.

The author begins by saying how he found a suitcase in a corner of the attic that was full of mementos and treasures collected, which later on show up throughout the book, such as an eagle feather, postcards, etc. Beginning with a flap-open journal entry and ending with a time line created out of the rings of tree along with a copy of the Declaration of Independence that's inside a wax-sealed envelope bearing the stamp of the Liberty Bell, this book holds the readers spellbound.

As a child, I was never a fan of History. It was all dates and full of names and numbers of people, years and places long gone by. Just a never-ending textbook full of facts. I just hated it! (or maybe it was just the teacher! I don't know) It was far too dry for me. Not so, this book! It makes exploring History fun, a sort of treasure hunt with lift-the-flap postcards, removable song lyrics, railway ticket stubs, peek-a-boo surprises of interesting facts, with maps, journal entires, dollar bills, flags, architectural plans and more jostling each other in a bid for the reader's attention. It's all arranged in a way that makes it look more like a scrapbook than a book. A scrapbook that takes you on a journey across time and country, introducing to prominent historical figures and events, and the odd but intriguing tidbit of little-known info. A book that's not just an introduction to this great nation, but filled with a contagious sort of national pride and ideals.

In Short

I had so much fun reading it and sharing it with Hubby (who was drawn in as I just wouldn't stop exclaiming or pulling out things from the book to read out aloud). And when he's old enough to read and understand this book, I hope to do the same with my son.

Buy the Book - here.
Book's Website - here.
Visit the Publisher - here.

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