YOU’RE A GRAND OLD FLAG by George M. Cohan


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Age Range: 5 - 9
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The patriotic chestnut by George M. Cohan (first published and sung in 1906) is nicely paired (twice through) with iconic Norman Rockwell images of families, little boys, returning solders and lovelorn lasses. The span of Rockwell’s career is made plain: The first line of the song, “You’re a grand old flag,” faces first an image of returning World War I Doughboys carrying their exultant children from 1919 and then, upon its repetition, the Look cover image of the moon landing. Humor leavens the nostalgia, as with the juxtaposition of “the home of the free and the brave” against a trio of nearly naked boys, their clothes strategically carried, running past a sign that says “No swimming.” The undeniable appeal of Rockwell’s work aside, with no clear visual narrative, there’s not much for a kid to grab onto. Warren Kimble’s charming 2007 picture-book version of the song holds much more child appeal. (illustration credits, introduction by John Rockwell) (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: June 3rd, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-1770-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2008