A short persuasive book crammed with historical odd facts and pushing a great idea. Once bells were sounded on our national holidays and a whole code existed for the ringing of bells, either for great occasions or for emergencies. After the Civil War, fireworks came to replace the bell tradition on the 4th of July. These are still a noisy and dangerous presence on that holiday, even where state laws restrict their sales and use. There's a movement afoot, endorsed and promoted by the author/illustrator, to bring back the custom of handbells, church bells, etc., to ring the day in and out. It's certainly noisy enough to appeal to the juvenile appetite for constant din and traditional enough to set well with their elders. It's the tradition that Mr. Sloane explores and he's collected what amounts to a short history of bells in this country. The text is accompanied by the same sort of precise, labelled drawings that have distinguished Mr. Sloane's many books.