Kids of many races celebrate nationalism at a Fourth of July parade.
This latest volume in the First Celebrations series invites children to identify eight basic colors and a few simple objects in a no-frills parade. The images are easily grasped but dull, with the same blue background on most pages. The occasion for the parade isn’t named, but the prevalence of red, white, and blue and an appearance by Uncle Sam suggest the Fourth of July. The top of the book is cut in a wavy pattern that complements the ripples of the flag on the cover, and two pages that focus on the red-and-white stripes of the flag exhort readers to “wave a flag back and forth.” The parade includes a fire engine, a marching band, floats, and a brown-skinned police officer on horseback. The multicultural cast also includes a black firefighter, a white marching-band drummer, and children of a variety of skin tones. This book can be seen as either determinedly aspirational or tone-deaf to the current moment. Against a backdrop of anti-immigrant sentiment and deportations, the celebratory air and unvaryingly smiling faces feel forced in their apparent enthusiasm.
Uncomfortable and unremarkable. (Board book. 1-3)