Monday, November 7, 2016

Americanly

Americanly
written by Lynn Parrish Sutton; illustrated by Melanie Hope Greenberg (read an interview with Melanie here!)
2016 (Kane Miller)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

I love you continuously like Seattle's rain. 
I love you abundantly like the fruited plain.

If you, like me and the rest of America, are sick of the 2016 election, I have an antidote for this illness! Forget making America great again. It is great already and I have the proof in this wonderful rhyming travelogue featuring iconic landmarks, monuments, and natural areas. Each page has two famous American places, each accompanied by a rhyming verse that starts with the words "I love you..." and followed by a vivid adverb. On one page, you will go from Boston to Chicago:

I love you duckily like the Public Garden's flowers.
I love you impressively like Chicago's gleaming towers. 

So now the door is open to researching these two famous places using key words from the verses. What a nice gateway to a needed skill! The illustrations are also top notch with warm, bright water colors bringing each location to life. After visiting Hawaii, the book goes to its strong conclusion like a reliever striking out the side to end a baseball game. Symbols of America become the focus of the verses:

I love you grandly like the wave of Old Glory. 
I love you complexly like our national story. 

How smart is that last line? My interpretation is that yes, we love this country, but also recognize that our story is a complex one that requires great reflection and thought instead of hastily composed tweets. The book ends with a full map of the United States and the following words:

I love you shiningly, freely, Americanly.
I love you so.
From sea to sea. 

I can see sharing this with a class of 4th or 5th graders, and then asking them to create a page with two places in your state and a verse for each place. You could create a book with all of those pages. It would also be great as part of a lesson on adverbs. To sum up my feelings in a couplet:

I love you Americanly, I must be confessin'.
This is one sensational geography lesson.




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