**Disclosure – I received these books for review purposes from the Disney Book Group. All opinions are my own.
Story time is always a favorite in this Neurotic Disney home. NDK (Neurotic Disney Kid) is old enough to read, but not too old to still be read to! Books are wonderful on so many levels. We keep them everywhere – even in the car! Disney Books are a great way to keep Disney at home. Disney Book Group was kind enough to send these books for NDK approval – be sure to look for the NDK Review after the description of each book!
The Fourth of July is right around the corner! Don’t forget to include a few historical books to your summer reading list. Check out these fun, new titles from Disney Publishing: Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh and God Bless America: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin by Adah Nuchi. My Neurotic Disney Kid (NDK) shares her thoughts on these two new books!
- Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh
- Page count: 80 pages * Ages: 7-11 years old
The NDK Review:
Thomas Paine and the Dangerous Word by Sarah Jane Marsh is a book about Thomas Paine and how he became an author,even though that was not what his father wanted him to do. Thomas Paine was an important historical figure during the Revolution. He is famous for writing his magazine, Common Sense, which helped other people to speak up about independence. This is a true story about his life and his accomplishments. I learned a lot about Thomas Paine from this biography. I really enjoyed the timeline at the end of the story. There are other tidbits of information on Thomas Paine that aren’t in the story. I also liked the additional educational features at the end of the book. The illustrations in this story are fun. You almost forget you are even learning anything! I recommend this book for everyone!
from the publisher:
With the use of Thomas Paine’s own clever quotes throughout, THOMAS PAINE AND THE DANGEROUS WORD by Sarah Jane Marsh and illustrated by Sibert Honor winner Edwin Fotheringham (Disney-Hyperion; On Sale: May 29, 2018), is a robustly informative nonfiction picture book. An abundance of primary sources paired with Fotheringham’s eye-catching artistic style, gives this book an engaging, contemporary feel that sets it apart from other historical biographies.
As an English corset-maker’s son, Thomas Paine was expected to spend his life sewing women’s underwear. But as a teenager, Thomas dared to change his destiny, enduring years of struggle until a meeting with Benjamin Franklin brought Thomas to America in 1774—and into the American Revolution. Within fourteen months, Thomas would unleash the persuasive power of the written word in Common Sense—a brash wake-up call that inspired resilience, rallying the American people to declare independence against the mightiest empire in the world.
This biography brings a historical figure from the founding of our country to life in a fun, modern way, in this fascinating and accessible book for children.
SARAH JANE MARSH has taught American Revolution history in elementary and middle school. Like Thomas Paine, Sarah attempted several adventurous careers (zoo-keeping, dolphin training, and firefighting) before settling into writing. She has an MBA from the University of Vermont and lives with her family outside of Seattle. This is her first book. Visit her online at www.sarahjanemarsh.com or on Twitter @MsSarahJMarsh.
EDWIN FOTHERINGHAM grew up in Sydney, Australia, and attended the University of Washington School of Art in Seattle, where he currently lives. He began his career as an illustrator working on a variety of projects, from CD covers to Neiman Marcus print ads. Other clients include The New Yorker and The Wall Street Journal. Edwin has also illustrated a number of children’s books, including Tony Baloney by Pam Muñoz Ryan and What to Do About Alice? by Barbara Kerley, which received the Robert F. Sibert Honor. Visit him online at edfotheringham.com or on Twitter @efotheringham.
- God Bless America: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin by Adah Nuchi
- Page Count: 40 pages * Ages: 4-8 years old
The NDK Review:
GOD BLESS AMERICA: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin by Adah Nuchi is a true story about Irving Berlin. Irving Berlin was an immigrant from Russia who wrote the song “God Bless America.” This book tells of how Irving and his family had to immigrate from Russia to America in 1893 because of religious persecution. While in America, he became a songwriter. Irving Berlin wrote “God Bless America” in 1918, but did not release it until 1938 when America was preparing for another war. Irving Berlin also wrote many other songs for classic movies. This book was very interesting. I have seen a few of the movies with his music and did not know his life story. Now that I know about Irving Berlin, I want to watch another one of his movies!
from the publisher:
GOD BLESS AMERICA: The Story of an Immigrant Named Irving Berlin (Disney-Hyperion; On Sale: June 5, 2018) by Adah Nuchi and illustrated by Rob Polivka, is timed perfectly for the 100th anniversary of the song, “God Bless America!” This nonfiction picture book about the origins of the song focuses on Irving Berlin and the experience he had as a Jewish immigrant, which inspired him to compose this patriotic song. At a time when the topics of refugees and immigration are hotly debated, this picture book provides a humanizing view of one individual who contributed so much to our cultural heritage.
Persecuted as Jews, Izzy Baline and his family emigrated from Russia to New York, where he fell in love with his new country. He heard music everywhere and was full to bursting with his own. Izzy’s thump-two-three, ting-a-ling, whee tunes soon brought him acclaim as the sought-after songwriter Irving Berlin. He ignited the imaginations of fellow countrymen and women with his Broadway and Hollywood numbers, crafting tunes that have become classics we still sing today. But when darker times came and the nation went to war, it was time for Irving to compose a new kind of song: A boom-rah-rah song. A big brass belter. A loud heart-melter. A song for America.
And so “God Bless America” was born, the heart swelling standard that Americans have returned to again and again after its 1918 composition. This is the tale of how a former refugee gave America one of its most celebrated patriotic songs. With stirring, rhythmic text by Adah Nuchi and delightful, energetic art by Rob Polivka, readers will be ready to hum along to this exuberant picture book.
Providing an excellent entry point into the songwriter’s life, this engaging read-aloud encourages great discussion starters for lessons on music and social studies.
ADAH NUCHI is the daughter of immigrants. She has worked at the National Book Foundation, served as a children’s book editor in New York, and currently works as a literary agent. This is her first picture book. Visit her on Twitter @AdahNuchi.
ROB POLIVKA is a children’s illustrator and cartoonist living in Texas with his wife and three children. Find him online at www.robpolivka.com or on Twitter @robpolivka.