Foreword Review — Nov / Dec 2002
The American flag represents independence, courage, and strength. This new translation of the author’s award-winning The Flag We Love offers an historical account of the American flag and also discusses the qualities and ideals that the flag represents to Americans.
Through simple verses and extensive prose sidebars, Ryan provides excellent information about the flag, as well as about various points in history. For example, many people don’t know that the original Pledge of Allegiance appeared in a children’s magazine in 1892. It was written for a ceremony celebrating Columbus’s discovery of America. Ryan has authored six children’s books and is currently completing her first novel for older students. She is a native of California, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at San Diego University. She has also worked as an early childhood instructor.
The illustrations in this picture book are so clear and realistic that they almost seem to be photographs. They are rich with a wide palette of colors. The illustrator splendidly depicts everything from the first flag, to steamers passing a lighthouse, to the Vietnam Memorial. Each is lovingly rendered and will please children and adults alike. Masiello has illustrated six previous alphabet and counting books. A graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, he has won many awards for his artwork.
The words and illustrations combine to make this a wonderful book about the Stars and Stripes. They explain not only what the flag is physically and historically, but also what it stands for in the hearts of Americans.