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The Spirit of 1776 from A to Z

by Wendell Minor & illustrated by Wendell Minor

Age Range: 7 - 9

Pub Date: May 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-399-24003-9
Publisher: Putnam

Striking pictures make this patriotic alphabet particularly memorable. Pairing illustrations painted on weathered-looking tavern signs to brief commentary, Minor celebrates major figures and incidents of the American Revolution from the Stamp Act (“A is for ACTS”) to Betsy and Ebenezer Zane, who were involved in the war’s last battle. The overall arrangement is not chronological, but a certain coherence emerges, as the Boston Massacre and Common Sense come early on, followed by Franklin and Jefferson, Old North Church and Paul Revere, Washington and Yorktown—with nods to Molly Pitcher and Native Americans along the way. Ranging from crudely drawn emblems to heroic portraits and battle scenes, the art is scratched and cracked to look as if it had hung outside various public houses for a few seasons; though the artifice may call attention to itself for adults, children will linger over the strong images, finding them both easily recognizable and evocative of the era. (bibliography, timeline) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)