Blue Sky, White Stars

Written by Sarvinder Naberhaus

Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

 

 

Naberhaus and Nelson’s collaboration, Blue Sky, White Stars, pays homage to the United States’ flag and its history.

 

In very simple but clever text, the book shares the history of the United States flag. Many immigrants left their homelands for different reasons to make new homes in America. Most had not seen such an expansive country. The first illustration depicts a row of red autumn trees with the opposing illustrated page highlighting the flag’s red rows. On the next page a wagon train of pioneers crosses the prairie under white billowing clouds to reflect the flag’s white stripes. Further in the book, readers see Betsy Ross making the first flag with the text, “Sew Together, Won Nation.” It is balanced with an illustration of contemporary American faces and the text, “So Together, One Nation” to reflect the American diversity.

 

Blue Sky, White Stars focuses on immigrants and our country, plus the symbolism of the flag. While these are important, the book neglects to mention the Indigenous People who first populated the same land prior to the settlers’ arrival; this seems to be a missed opportunity. That said Nelson’s stunning art and Naberhaus’ succinct text create a beautiful collaboration that will offer young readers a first history of the flag and its importance.

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