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Book by Wallner, Alexandra
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Kindergarten-Grade 3-Very much in the style, size, and format of David Adler's "Picture Book Biographies" (Holiday), which she and her husband illustrated, Wallner now goes solo to tell Betsy Ross's story. She weaves facts that are known about the woman's life into the straightforward narrative. Naive folk-art paintings suit the subject well. Engaging examples of 18th-century colonial American life-spinning wheels, fireplace cookery, quill pens, and candlesticks-and even a number of playful cats can be found on every page. The book concludes with directions for making a five-pointed star. An author's note addresses some of the conflicting claims to the flag's origins. An appealing picture of American history, an easy-to-read biography, and an accessible curricular piece for Flag Day.
Harriett Fargnoli, Great Neck Library, NY
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages 5-8. As the author-illustrator reports in an afterword, there are conflicting accounts of Ross' life and her place in history as maker of the new American nation's first flag. With that caveat and noting the main source for this version of the story, Wallner describes Ross' childhood, marriages, upholstery business, suggestion to General Washington to use a star with five points rather than six, sewing of the flag, and family and business concerns until her death in 1836. Large, colorful illustrations use bright colors and many details to tell the story and re-create the period. The book ends with diagrams and directions for folding and cutting paper to make a five-pointed star. Showing Ross as a successful businesswoman as well as a good seamstress is a good touch. An appealing depiction of one of the few women famous in American history and/or legend. Carolyn Phelan
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