I love birthdays. Not necessarily mine, but other people’s, especially my kids. I’m already planning their next party and their birthdays are not until March. When I think of the fourth of July, and the blessings we have because of the “birth of America”, I can’t think of a better title than “Happy Birthday America”.
Introducing Our Featured Friend: Happy Birthday America
Written by Mary Pope Osborne, Illustrated by Peter Catalanotto
Mary Osborne Pope, (also author of the Magic Tree House series), writes this story of a three generational family together in a small town celebrating the birthday of America. She says, “This book was inspired by a recent 4th of July that my husband and I spent in a town in southeastern Pennsylvania. It was a day made up of many small things: lemon ices, pitch penny, family chat. But it was about big things: community, freedom, and pride in our country’s history. It truly was a ‘glorious and ever memorable’ celebration of America’s birthday.”
On the Fourth of July, Mom, Dad, Katie, Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Beth, baby Jess, our dog, Bud, and I go to Memorial Park.
Thus begins this family’s day of celebration including: marching around the ball field, waving red, white and blue steamers, eating popcorn and pizza, buying raffle tickets, seeing shows, painting faces, fighting with balloon swords, eating barbecued chicken, listening to bands playing “Yankee Doodle”, “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and “The Star-Spangled Banner”. Of course the grand finale to their day is the fireworks:
“There they go! ”
“Oooooh!” “Ahhhh!” “Wow!”
“Like a palm tree!”
“Like a weeping willow!”
“A moment of silence.
Then huge bursts of light,
one on top of the other,
and a million pieces of gold
rain down on the trees
near the flag that is still there.”
Inviting You To Become FRIENDS With Happy Birthday America:
Feel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share
F- What do you feel excited about when July 4th comes? Food, Fairs, Fireworks?
R- After reading the story, which part of this family’s July 4th celebration can you most relate? Does your family go to a local park? What do you usually eat that day? Where do you go to see fireworks?
I- Imagine you are the narrator of this story about your family’s July 4th celebration. What is your favorite part of the day and why is it your favorite?
E- Explore the history surrounding the birth of America by learning about the events and people involved in the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776.
N- Navigate (make your way) through your town by designing a route for a parade. Include a picture of fire trucks, floats, and friends in the parade!
D- Develop your own “fireworks” and your own red, white and blue decorations to display for July 4th:
30 FANTASTIC FIREWORK ACTIVITIES
If you have an old dish brush in the kitchen, let your kids use it to make pretty fireworks!
Pin it! ~ http://www.pinterest.com/pin/85216617924225304/
S- Share a thank you card with someone who fought or is fighting to keep America’s freedoms.
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That book makes me want to be there with them celebrating! The craft ideas are great! Thank you for sharing!