The Children's Book of America

Book review by
Megan Potter, Common Sense Media
The Children's Book of America Book Poster Image
Sometimes moralistic stories miss audience.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids will love all the adventure, but some stories may seem overly moralistic. Each page has detailed, colorful paintings.

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What's the story?

Bennett's patriotism is contagious in this collection of stories about America. He not only promotes the values of European settlers, but also includes Native American values and civil rights leaders in defining moral moments. The writing doesn't always work for the targeted age group, but everyone can enjoy the detailed and expressive art.


Is it any good?

The stories are enhanced by bold, colorful artwork. Artist Michael Hague captures the characters' emotions, and his detailed landscapes bring scenes, such as a battle at sea, to life.

Oddly, while the language and length of the pieces seem right for older children, the tone and structure of the stories speak to younger ones. Older kids may feel they are being spoken down to, while younger kids may get lost or distracted.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about America's vibrant history. What have been some of its greatest successes? What have been some of the biggest challenges in its development?

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