Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence"

"There are times, 'in the course of human events,'
People want to create their own governments."

 Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence by Peter W. Barnes and Cheryl Shaw Barnes covers the Revolutionary War time period guided by a patriotic mouse.  It is geared toward ages 5 and up.

There are a couple of sections to this book.  The first is the rhyming story in the voice of little Liberty Lee.  Colorful illustrations are detailed.  Several of the maps were helpful for giving an overview that my 10 year old had not grasped from our previous year's learning of this time period: one map shows the original 13 colonies and another shows where 19 of the battles were fought.  My 8 year old son caught that one of the pictures was a replica of a painting we have on our wall: John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence."

While the illustrations seem geared toward a younger readership, the text seems geared toward an older one.  Many words and phrases such as "separate and equal," "self-evident," and "Continental Congress" won't all be grasped by a young child, but hearing them will help familiarize your child with the vocabulary of our founding documents.  My 6 year old has made her own "De-clo-ration" since the reading of this book.   It consists of her name written over and over again and the sheet of paper scrolled on the top and bottom.  She is treating it as a Very Important Document.

The second section of the book is called "The Tail End" and provides extra material for parents and teachers to use in presenting further topics from this time period such as "The Signers: 56 Men" and "Boston Tea Party."  It contains many facts that my 10 year old was constantly checking ("Mom, is this true?").  It was useful for reminding me of dates and details I've forgotten and for giving a quick overview of the subject.

Our homeschool chooses living books with which to learn.  (You can read more about that here.)  While I wouldn't label Liberty Lee's Tail of Independence a living book, I would use it as a supplemental extra to our current school choices.  It's a level or two above a DK children's book but not as living as something like "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow, illustrated by Ted Rand.  Some parents will enjoy the great synopsis of facts describing how and why America became an independent country.  My 6 year old narrated back to me that it was about "a president" and "our country" and "We won!"  And she was very excited that we had won.

This review is a part of a TLC Book Tour where many bloggers give their opinion of the same book.  You can find more reviews of this book here at TLC Book Tours.

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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