A Very Important Day Library Binding – Aug 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Early one morning, too excited to sleep, a woman from the Philippines watches from her window as snow falls on New York City. As the day breaks, 11 other families-each originally from a different country-are seen heading downtown and heard referring to this "very important day." Youngsters won't pick up on their destination until well past the story's midpoint: these families are bound for the courthouse, where, among a vast group, they are sworn in as U.S. citizens. After each receives a certificate and recites an oath, the judge announces: "Welcome. We are glad to have you. This is a very important day." And as the new citizens, their families and friends leave the building to view the sun shining on the freshly fallen snow, a voice in the crowd proclaims, awkwardly and repetitiously, "This has become our country on this very important day!" Ending with a note explaining the process of gaining citizenship, Herold's first children's book meets the target audience in terms of its content, but its repetitive structure is better suited to younger children. Though stiff in some places and underdone in others, Stock's (Where Are You Going, Manyoni?) watercolor art gives personality to the large multicultural crew assembled here. Ages 6-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3?November 25th is the day that 219 people will take the oath of allegiance to the United States and become citizens. The focus of this multicultural narrative is the naturalization ceremony, which brings the 12 families introduced in the previous pages together in celebration of this momentus event. Each double-page segment is devoted to one family as fathers, mothers, children, and other relatives prepare to leave for the court in lower Manhattan. Originally coming from Scotland or Ghana, India or El Salvador, each group shares the nervous excitement generated by this occasion. Because of the episodic nature of the book, it is sometimes difficult to keep track of the many characters, but a glossary of names at the end is helpful for pronunciation and reinforces the geographical spread of the countries represented. Herold includes a brief explanation of what is involved in becoming a U.S. citizen, which will make clear to young readers the lengthy process and amount of preparation that has brought each individual to this day. Stock's sprightly watercolors reinforce the celebratory mood, even as they depict the details of homes, dress, and way of life of various people. Both author and illustrator have also captured the nuances of the way the children are already Americanized in their dress and colloquial conversations. Many books deal with the immigrant experience in terms of getting here and settling in; this title offers another dimension. A welcome addition to the picture-book shelves.?Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.