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Fireworks & Fun on The 4th of July


RED, WHITE, AND BOOM! ($16.99, Henry Holt, ages 3 and up) by Lee Wardlaw with illustrations by Huy Voun Lee is reviewed by Ronna Mandel.

         What do you do on the 4th of July? Do you watch a parade or head to the beach?  Do you have a picnic or fly a kite?  Award-winning author and unrivaled rhymer, Lee Wardlaw has captured the essence of this patriotic holiday in a picture book that simply shouts happiness, fun and family on every page.

            The book opens with “Red, white, blue. Curbside view.” Observant readers may catch the humor of a street sign post at the corner of Holt St. and Lee Ave. near the parade watchers.  I just love that whimsical touch added by acclaimed artist Huy Voun Lee in her beautiful paper cut illustrations which are actually colorful collages of layered paper-cut outs! She also told me that “All the fine lines are also cut, not drawn, with an x-acto knife.” 

Huy Voun Lee artwork used by permission of Macmillan.

            With each turn of the page youngsters will be treated to all of the delights that Independence Day brings – be it romping on the beach with your favorite pet; “Frisbee zips. Doggie flips.” Or snacking; “Melon grins. Juicy chins.” Find little ones dashing and splashing at the water’s edge or constructing sand castles and keeping busy building and digging all day long. At a playground, “Fireflies flit. Sparklers spit,” while children play with pinwheels and families enjoy the wonderful outdoors. At night the red, white, and boom of the colorful fireworks light up the skies as sleepy ones doze and families call it a day. But we know it was no ordinary one.

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