Although it's an alphabet book, Wendell Minor's Yankee Doodle America: The Spirit of 1776 from A to Z is really much more. It's a fun, informative history lesson for children and for adults as well. In an attractive, unique format, award-winning artist Minor, whose other works include America the Beautiful and Abe Lincoln Remembers, has used painted illustrations on hand-crafted signs that evoke the Colonial period. The alphabet is clever and to the point, highlighting the major people and events of the Revolution, including Benjamin Franklin, the Boston Tea Party and Paul Revere's ride. In addition, Minor includes lesser-known heroes and heroines of the period, such as Elizabeth Zane, a 16-year-old who ran to supply the soldiers at Fort Henry with more gunpowder during a battle. Minor also pays tribute to Molly Pitcher, also known as Sergeant Molly, who fought on a gun crew after her husband was wounded. The book includes an endnote with a timeline of important dates and events. Keep this one handy all year for history reports! Deborah Hopkinson's new book for children of all ages is entitled Up Before Daybreak: Cotton and People in America.

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