Tuesday, July 2, 2013

4 Kids | Happy Birthday, America

We're getting closer to Independence Day, and all the wonderful events that celebrate the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, which declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

I have to admit I love this holiday. I love the patriotic wave that washes over all of us lucky to call the United States of America our home. When I visited the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to see the original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Frances Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem. Words just can't describe the feeling you get when you stand mere feet from this amazing symbol of our great nation. If you want to learn more about this display at the Smithsonian, click here.

So in addition to the fireworks, barbecues and other fun activities we'll all partake in this Thursday, how about some great books that celebrate America?

So You Want To Be President by Judith St. George: This is a fun book filled with tons of trivia about our nation's presidents. Did you know that eight of our nation's presidents were born in log cabins? Did you know that William Howard Taft was the biggest president weighing more than 300 pounds? He even had to have a special bathtub built for the White House! And what about the pets that have lived in the White House? Of course there have been lots of cats and dogs, but did you know Benjamin Harrison had a goat and the Coolidges had a pet raccoon? Lots more to learn in this fun book! 

Back a few years ago I got to go on a ferry cruise tour of the Statue of Liberty. To be so close to this symbol of freedom and democracy really took my breath away. Maybe that's why I like Doreen Rappaport's Lady Liberty: A Biography so much. It's a beautiful tribute to the many people who played a role in the constructing of Lady Liberty, and recalls the sentiments of many immigrants who have laid eyes on her as they sailed into New York Harbor. 

Finally, because I'm always thinking about food, I have to mention U.S. History Cookbook: Delicious Recipes and Exciting Events From the Past by Joan D'Amico and Karen Eich Drummond. This book is a culinary journey through our country's history -- from cornmeal blueberry mush (believed by historians to be part of the first Thanksgiving) to noodle kugel (popular among the many Jewish people who immigrated to the United States from Europe) to baked macaroni and cheese (popular during the Depression because it was tasty and inexpensive). Check it out and start cooking!

Visit any SSJCPL branch library and check out these books! And in the meantime, have a safe and wonderful 4th of July!

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