What better way to make this patriotic song meaningful to kids than with these lively illustrations by 10 different illustrators?
Each spread portrays a line or phrase from the song with a sidebar quote from a president (cherry-picking from Washington to Obama). For “For amber waves of grain,” Mary GrandPré depicts three kids and a dog pretending to be sailing on a boat that’s a dead tree amid a field of wheat; this is paired with a quote from Thomas Jefferson: “I believe…that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.” An interior spread (“with brotherhood”) by LeUyen Pham repeats the cover, picturing kids wearing red-and-white striped outfits representing the flag’s stripes and kids in blue sweaters with stars completing the flag. The quote is from Theodore Roosevelt: “Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” The other illustrators are Diane Goode, Jon J Muth, Yuyi Morales, John Hendrix, Bryan Collier, Chris Soentpiet, Raúl Colon and Sonia Lynn Sadler.
Handsomely designed, this is a beautiful tribute to America and Americana. (selected national landmarks and symbols, biographical note, song lyrics, definition of democracy) (Picture book. 5-9)