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Hats off for the Fourth of July!
2000
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Author Notes
<p> Harriet Ziefert is a children's author born in 1941 in New Jersey. She has written several hundred children's books, including the Little Hippo series. Ziefert and illustrator Emilie Bon have collaborated on a series of "Little Hippo" books, the first of which was published in 1988 by Viking Penguin. The books are written for children between 1 1/2 to 5 years-of-age. They are intended to help children deal with change, like the addition of a new baby to the family or moving to a new house. <p> Her titles include Little Hippo's New Baby, Little Hippo's New Friend, Little Hippo's New School and Grandpa, Will You Play With Me? <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
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Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

Newcomer Miller's artwork provides the fireworks for this homage to the Independence Day parade, set in the Massachusetts seaside town of Chatham. Ziefert (When I First Came to This Land) describes the goings-on in stagnant verse that belies the gaiety of the proceedings. The predictable rhyming couplets suffer from occasionally strained rhyme schemes (town/around; boom/soon) and faltering rhythm ("Cowboys on horses yell out loud./ We all shout backDwhat a happy crowd"). Against solid-colored backgrounds, Miller whimsically tweaks traditional proportion, creating some stylized, angular images of people on unicycles, stilts and motorcycles. He peppers his paintings with playful particulars: a pooch purloins a twirler's baton, a uniformed George Washington look-alike appears in the crowd and one onlooker holds a pet rabbit on his lap. With images of a horse, a cow and even a clown straddling the turn of a page, the artist creates the feeling of an endless parade of marchers. This volume may well find an appreciative local audience, since the collaborators capture the flavor of this Cape Cod vacation spot (spectators cheer a car transformed into the shape of a whale; a lighthouse beacon pierces the night sky while fireworks explode overhead), yet the excitement of this holiday radiates more universally and warmly in Happy Birthday, America! (reviewed on p. 94). Ages 4-7. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

  School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 1-Ziefert shows how the townspeople of Chatham, MA, celebrate our nation's birthday while Miller's striking illustrations richly enhance the small-town ambience. Short sentences, repetition, and rhyme create enough anticipation to keep the pages turning as readers follow the parade as it travels its route. Both text and art create a sense of movement across the double-page spreads. Endpapers introduce a day in the life of the charming Cape Cod town's Main Street, beginning with a plane trailing a banner advertising the big event and concluding with fireworks ablaze over a now-darkened landscape. There's plenty to see, and the text has the steady beat of a parade drummer.-Susan Garland, Maynard Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Booklist Review

Ages 4^-7. In the town of Chatham on Cape Cod, there's an annual Fourth of July parade. Ziefert records the events in rhyme as Miller supplies colorful illustrations of each new attraction as it passes: cowboys on horses, the high-school band, motorcyclists, the Little League team, patriots with muskets, and plenty of elaborate floats: "The twirlers are walking down the street. / They spin and strut and lift their feet. / Music and drum . . . music and drum. / Who will be the next to come?" The pictures capture both the festivities and the atmosphere of a small-town holiday parade. Best of all is the grand finale in which a skywriting airplane wishes everybody a happy Fourth of July. A good addition to any holiday collection and excellent for reading aloud. --Helen Rosenberg

  Horn Book Review

Ziefert's uneven rhyming text echoes the rhythm of a Fourth of July parade. Music and drum. . .music and drum. / Who will be the next to come? The parade's progress creates a good momentum, and a sky-writing plane provides a large-scale ending. The homely, often misshapen figures in the bright illustrations sometimes extend off the page, which adds to the book's exuberant spirit. From HORN BOOK Fall 2000, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Kirkus Review

The business of a parade is to march along with style and zip and knock the socks off those who watch. Add the excitement of the nameless narrator in Ziefert's (First He Made the Sun, see above, etc.) rhythmic, rhymed Fourth of July parade to first-time illustrator Miller's humor, and readers receive a down-home parade that means business. The book captures summer's spirit, from the shorts and T-shirts of the watchers to the sun-blocking card on the balloon-seller's nose and the winding-down, post-parade, nighttime fireworks. Parade units pass by in full-bleed spreads, the last unit leaving off one edge, the next nosing into place on the other, pictures that echo the anticipation expressed in text: "Who will be the next to come?" It's all here, what those lucky enough to experience parades in small towns or active urban neighborhoods know. There's the twirler who drops her baton; the unleashed dog who picks it up; the cowboys who've recruited a kid to clean up after their horses and the stilt-walker (there's always a stilt-walker!). Then there's the big kids' float and the one done up by adults; the little kids' marching band and the one from the high school, not to mention the antique cars; the motorcycles; the Little Leaguers and the kids on bicycles rag-tagging parade's end. Hats off indeed to this splendid parade of a book. (Picture book. 2-5) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Summary
This is one small town parade readers shouldn't miss! It starts with music and drums. What will come next? Cowboys on horseback? The baseball team? The fire engine? Or Miss Eelgrass with the green hair? And when the parade's over and the streets start to clear, another spectacle is waiting up in the sky.
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